Even though WordPress already created a helpful review of my blog for 2012 which I have already posted , I thought I would comment a little bit about 2012 and how this year shaped up for me as a blogger. 2012 was a strange year for both Edge Induced Cohesion and for the man behind it. I hit 1500 posts and 100,000 views, consolidating the gain in popularity I had seen before. Many of the most popular blog entries of 2012 were holdovers from 2011, with some exceptions. I have mixed feelings about this–on the one hand I am glad that my writings have staying power and that people continue to enjoy reading about what I have written earlier, but on the other hand I write plenty of new stuff that I like people to pay attention too and I do not want my older works to crowd out my newer ones either.
2012 was a really weird year for me. I began the year in Thailand and I ended the year in Oregon, and my blog ended up getting caught up in affairs larger than my usual personal or organizational politics, to the point where this blog became involved in some very dicey and potentially dangerous public affairs relating to wikileaks and the controversy over Article 112 in Thailand, as well as the delicate line between respect for authorities and a steadfast dedication to openness and truth. The end results of this tension in my personal life is reflected in the fact that this writing of mine has taken an increasingly serious turn because life has gotten increasingly serious between high visibility and scrutiny as well as a large amounts of false and very damaging accusations of a personal nature. On the positive side, my writing of book reviews seems to have gotten me a positive reputation among American military journals for my love of books and my quick and prolific reading, but as of right now I am still not exactly sure how all the cross-currents of my life will sort out and I have a lot of soul-searching and personal examination to do to make sense of this very difficult year. That said, let us look at the top twenty posts of 2012 (along with some other interesting stats) and hope that 2013 is an even better year.
Honorable Mention #2: On The Difference Between Greek And Hebrew Thought 
Categories: Musing, Christianity
This blog entry was not written in 2012, but it was surprisingly popular (surprising to me at least), almost hitting the top 20 for the year as many people appeared interested in exploring my preference for Hebraic depth in multiple layers of application rather than the typical Greek belief that every word and passage has one meaning and one meaning alone. In fact, this entry was one of the first that I wrote for this blog all the way back in 2010, and apparently the question of the role of Hebrew thoughts and concepts for Christians (which is one I have wrestled with my whole life) is also a subject of considerable interest to my readers. I always enjoy it when a serious conversation is the subject of interest.
Honorable Mention #1: Double Dipping: On The Ethics Of Moonlighting 
Just missing the top 20 this year is a post I wrote in 2011 on the issue of moonlighting. This entry, like so many that I write, wrestles with the dilemma of the exclusivity that companies demand from their skilled employees while not providing those employees with a sufficient income to earn their loyalty. Here again we have the pull between the concerns of both sides and the legitimacy of the means that people use to bolster their income in light of considerable pressures against wage increases that would pay people as their labor and skills deserve. It should go without saying that I have some personal experience in this matter and that such pressures have dramatically affected my own life as well.
#20: Psalm 1: And He Shall Be A Tree Planted By The Rivers Of Water 
Categories: Psalms, Bible, Christianity
The anchor spot of the top 20 is held by a post I wrote in 2011 looking at Psalm 1 in the larger context of the imagery of the Tree of Life. Again, this is a post that wrestles with the larger relationship of Hebrew concepts within the framework of Christianity, showing that Psalm 1 has close ties with both the Creation account of Genesis and with the prophecy of Revelation. it was also nice to be able to tell a personal anecdote (referred to at the beginning of the post) that shows my early anxiety about where I stood with God and that showed a bit of humor about my own concern for outcast animals as well. Whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, my main concerns in life have tended to spring from very early.
#19: Solsbury Hill 
Categories: Music, Musing, Christianity
Last year’s  #16 post, this year my post on Solsbury Hill, still by far the most popular of my song analysis posts, slides to #19 in our year-end survey. It is somewhat surprising to me that this song in particular would draw so many views. Perhaps the fact that my blog as a whole contains a great deal of discussion about the relationship between Christianity and other aspects of culture (history, politics, and music among them) and the fact that this particular song deals very openly with the role of Christianity in serving as a larger inspiration for this odd and yet enduringly popular song. I’m glad the post has been popular, even if its popularity is somewhat mystifying to me.
#18: On Moral And Physical Courage 
Categories: Musing, History
Last year’s  #13 post, this year my post on moral and physical courage slides to #18 in our year-end survey. This post is yet another example of how many posts that were popular last year remained popular this year. The events of this year added some layers of my irony, showing to my own satisfaction (and hopefully that of others) that my own moral courage in speaking up against evil in high places was at least somewhat evident, even if others considered such behavior to be an act of reckless folly. However, sadly, the leaders of our nations (and other nations around the world) appear not to be people of moral courage, and so this blog entry (and not only the behavior of this blogger) appear as an implicit criticism of the cowardice of the leaders of our world.
#17: Numbers 5:11-31: Concerning Jealous Husbands 
Categories: Bible, Christianity, Love & Marriage
By far my most popular post dealing with biblical law (a subject I discuss fairly often on this blog), this particular post was written in 2011 but became particular popular in 2012. As I have never been married and am not a particularly jealous person by nature, I find the popularity of this post to be ironic and perhaps a bit concerning, especially if it leads people to have the wrong idea about me personally or about what the Bible says about jealous husbands. After all, for those who have bothered to read it, this passage speaks eloquently about the price of jealousy for a husband as well as the importance of treating a wife with honor, something I long to have the chance to do.
#16: A Review Of My Strengths Finder Report 
Last year’s  #10 post, this year the post slides to #16 on our 2012 year-end survey. While I found it fascinating to take my Strengths profile test (helpfully provided through a free book from a friend) and muse about the overall connectivity of these strengths as they worked in a coherent whole, I have been surprised that anyone else would care. This is especially the case as this post is one that I have long worried would lead me into concerns about copyright infringement for copying so much information from others (albeit with attribution). That said, so many people enjoy looking at this post, that it has probably garnered more popularity for Strengths Finding than any nonexistent value I have gotten out of stealing the information for myself, so hopefully there has been no harm done to the intellectual property rights of others, even if my analysis has sadly not led to my own economic profit either.
#15: The Presidents Of The Confederate States Of America: An Alternate History 
Categories: History, American Civil War
Another one of the earliest posts that I wrote for this blog, it was inspired on a whim by an e-mail I had gotten from a friend. Taking the bare list of supposed presidents of the Confederate States of America, I thought it would make an interesting and fascinating alternate history, so I constructed brief biographies of all the men on it, along with what it said about the culture and mindset of what the Confederacy would have looked like had it won its independence through negotiated peace. Though I am certainly no partisan of the side of Johnny Reb, it was an intriguing piece to write, and I’m glad that it resonated with readers, even if it was not a post that was immediately popular. I have seen on this blog that this post has inspired a great many looks at the wikipedia entries of these obscure men for readers to see how they were in real life, and I take that as a considerable sign of respect from others.
#14: A Comparative Analysis Of The Parable Of The Talents And The Parable Of The Minas 
Categories: Bible, Christianity
Last year’s  #12 posts, this year my essay comparing and contrasting the Parable of the Talents and the Parable of the Minas drops to #14 on our 2012 year end survey. The popularity of this little essay of mine that I wrote in the Santiago International Airport in Chile was somewhat surprising to me in 2011, and the fact that it remains almost equally popular in 2012 is even more surprising to me. There must be a great deal of interest in these two parables, and an interest in many people to read what I have to say about them, interest that is surprising to me but also gratifying at the same time, especially if it leads them to a deeper understanding of the points that Jesus Christ was making with both parables.
#13: No Variation Or Shadow Of Turning: Calculus In The Bible 
Categories: Bible, Christianity
This post, last year’s  #20 post, rose seven spots to #13 in this year’s survey. When this post ended up serving as the basis to a Christian Conservative website’s rather fierce debate about whether this particular verse of the Bible spoke to biblical foreknowledge of Calculus some 1600 years in advance, I realize that my rather drily humorous and almost offhand post had really struck a nerve with a lot of people. Admittedly, the connection between this verse and calculus is rather slight and superficial, but the fact that even the inkling of the ideas of calculus could have been seen many hundreds of years in advance by a relatively unlettered Jew of Palestine ought to be seen as remarkable. And clearly, some people agreed with me.
#12: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Moody Blues 
Categories: Music, History
This post was written in 2011, like most of the most popular posts of the year, but really took off this year, becoming one of two posts from my popular series about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to make it onto the year-end survey for 2012. The Moody Blues are a band that enjoyed major chart success in three decades and helped to invent psychedelic and progressive rock. Their concept album Days of Future Past remains one of the most seminal albums of its time, and they introduced the Beatles to the Mellotron. Seriously, with that kind of artistic cred and undeniable influence, one would think that their place in rock & roll history would be secure, but the gatekeepers of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame appear to disagree for reasons that I simply cannot fathom. Apparently, many others feel the same way.
#11: The Sons Of Korah 
Categories: Sons Of Korah, Bible, Christianity, History
This post is the text of a sermonette message I gave in 2010, and it sparked my interest in a larger examination of the Sons of Korah. It was the #18 post in last year’s year-end survey and it jumps seven spots in this year’s year-end survey, once again serving as the second most popular post I have written about the Sons of Korah. There are a few surprising aspects of this enduring popularity for the post–one, that so many people want to know more about the Sons of Korah, but that none of those people apparently include publishers or literary agents who want to help promote and publish my larger writings on the subject.
#10: Introducing And Ranking The Twelve Apostles 
Categories: Christianity, Bible, History
This post was popular in last year’s year end survey , coming in at #15, and it was even more popular this year. One thing I wanted to do in 2012 that I did not do was write about a few more of the apostles to help this project along, but given the enduring popularity of this post, it would appear that it might be worthwhile (and popular) to continue this survey, especially into some of the more obscure apostles at least, as time and energy permit. Once again, as was the case last year, there is a lot of interest in the ranking of the twelve apostles. Apparently they aren’t the only ones who are concerned about where they stood in Jesus Christ’s pecking order.
#9: On The Three Types Of Leavening 
Categories: Christianity, Bible
This post was #7 in last year’s  year-end survey and it slightly dips to #9 in this year’s survey. The fact that my modest examination of the scientific principles of leavening has stirred such a large reading response over two years now is highly gratifying to me, though it would be more gratifying if people would take leavening more seriously and not limit themselves to obvious biological or chemical leavening and would consider the greater aspects by which foods are leavened. After all, if one takes the symbolism of leavening (and its presence in the very air) very seriously (and I do), the wide expanse of leavening and its insidious connection to our cooking process carries with it obvious and troubling implications as to the ubiquity of sin and corruption.
#8: Today In History: On April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee Surrendered The Army Of Northern Virginia 
Categories: History, American Civil War
Last year’s #5 post , this year it dips slightly to #8 in our year-end survey. I should have assumed that any post about the Army of the Northern Virginia would be popular, but at the same time it is somewhat ironic that this post is by far the most popular of my posts about historical events in history. Apparently the surrender of Lee’s army still hits a sore spot 147 years after it happened, and even though that surrender did not automatically lead to the end of the bloodiest war in our nation’s history to date.
#7: Bartholomew Called Nathanael: An Israelite In Whom There Is No Guile 
Categories: Bible, Christianity
This post, the second  of the posts from my ongoing series on the twelve apostles, was written in 2011 but really seemed to take off in popularity in 2012 for reasons unknown to me (especially as Bartholomew was a particularly obscure apostle). Those readers who were most aware of my taste in irony possibly noticed that like Nathanael I too am a person without a great deal of guile, and that what I wrote about this particular disciple could very easily be said about me as well. No one, to my knowledge, has commented openly about that irony, though. Perhaps it is just considered polite to leave such things unsaid.
#6: Why Thailand Is A Third World Country 
Categories: Musing, Politics
This blog was fairly rapidly conceived and written while I was dealing with one of the many power/water shortages I had to deal with while living in Thailand that reminded me of life in Ghana, and it was the only post written in 2012 that made the year end survey. But man, did this post cause a firestorm. I considered it fairly uncontroversial (in light of the many controversial things I had to say about the culture and history and politics of Thailand) that Thailand was a third world country in light of the poverty and lack of education and opportunity for the vast majority of its people, but quite a few Thais (and Americans) apparently thought this post to be deliberately offensive and provocative. It’s a good thing they didn’t read some of my other posts on Thailand, as this was an example of fairly mild and obvious low-hanging fruit in talking about Thailand. Some people just can’t handle the truth.
#5: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Chicago 
Categories: Music, History
This post was #9 in last year’s year-end survey  and it rises to #5 in this year’s year end survey, serving as the most popular in what has become a fairly long list of posts about artists deserving of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (three of whom were inducted for 2012). Like Chris Isaak, I wonder who this band managed to anger to keep them from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. If far lesser bands from the 1970’s and 1980’s can be inducted, surely a band that made Rock & Roll safe for big bands and jazzy experimentation, as well as massive power balladry, ought to be a totally obvious no-brainer. I don’t know what it is that I am not seeing here, and the fact that this post is consistently so well viewed suggests that I am far from alone.
#4: Personal Profile: Heman The Ezrahite 
Categories: Bible, History, Sons Of Korah
Once again the most popular post about the Sons Of Korah (it ranked #11 in last year’s  year-end survey and climbs seven spots to #4 for 2012), the popularity of this post is rather puzzling to me. Heman is one of the most obscure people of the Bible, and my own thoughts about him are somewhat embarrassingly personal (given our mutual struggle with deep and chronic depression). Nonetheless, it would appear as if a large number of people can relate to Heman’s struggles and are fascinated to reading what the Bible says about him, especially since such material is not readily accessible. I hope the information I have presented has proven to be worthwhile to the many people who looked at it over the course of the last two years.
#3: Book Review: Apostles Of Disunion: Southern Secession Commissioners And The Causes Of The Civil War 
Categories: Book Review, History, American Civil War
Once again this post was by far the most popular book review on this blog (it ranked #4 in last year’s survey and ranks #3 this year), as apparently a lot of people really like to know what some really obscure Southern men had to say about the cause of the Civil War (hint: it was slavery). This is an obscure book about obscure people, and I am obscure blogger, but somehow the combination of those factors, along with the controversial and well-researched nature of the contents of the book, have made this an enduringly popular entry. For the sake of the author, I hope my book review has led to lots of sales for his book–he deserves it.
#2: Powers Denied To The States: A Constitutional Essay 
Categories: History, Politics
The popularity of this post last year (it ranked #8 in 2011’s year end survey  and jumps six spots this year) inspired me to write a post about the powers denied to Congress (which ranked as the #24 post of the year, just missing this year’s year end survey), but as was often the case, it was the existing post and not the new one that drew the most popularity, as continuing debt crises and concerns over federalism led my post about the Article I prohibitions on state power to be once again an extremely popular post for many people, whether they agreed or disagreed with my analysis.
#1: The Tragedies Of Amy Winehouse And Jennifer Elliott 
Categories: Politics, Music
Once again, the runaway #1 post [it was also a runaway #1 last year  was my rather fierce condemnation of Fox News (ironic given my generally moderately conservative leanings) and the role of Rupert Murdoch in the ongoing News Of The World scandal in Great Britain. Again, I find it baffling that so many people want to know about the death of Jennifer Elliott, who from everything I have read and heard from those who knew her was a delightful young lady but a rather delicate and troubled soul (aren’t we all?) who was driven to her untimely demise in part by the humiliation she suffered at the hands of the News Of The World. And after the year I have had, I have even greater sympathy for her given the lies and slander I myself have suffered from evil men.
Bonus Feature: Top 20 Nations
In February 2012, WordPress started a feature that showed the countries where my blog’s viewers came from. This proved to be of great interest, as it allowed me to see a rough correlation between which entries were popular and which nations viewed my blogs. I also got to see which nations, conspucious by their absence, had banned my blog (China showed up with one view over the entire year, North Korea, Iran, and Cuba all had none). So, here are the top 20 nations who have viewed my blog in 2012:
1. The United States (no surprise there)
2. United Kingdom
5. The Philippines
8. South Africa
10. The Netherlands
14. New Zealand
I must say, some of these top 20 nations are very surprising indeed, though overall one can see that nations with a large population, large number of English speakers, and large amount of posts about them were fairly popular (though I did not blog a great deal about Indonesia or Singapore or Malaysia, to be sure). Anyway, this material is food for thought.