Edge Induced Cohesion: 2014 In Review: Part Two

Despite the fact that my WordPress-generated yearly review regularly tells me that many of my most-popular posts were written several years ago and that I should write about those subjects again, the year-to-year changes within what people are looking for on my blog can be quite dramatic [1]. This year, far more than most years in the past, has seen old posts jump from nowhere to the top 20 (and in a couple of cases, the top 10). It is noteworthy that for the first time, my top 20 does not include any blog posts about Somaliland, any book reviews, or any posts on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. What was popular instead were a lot of biblical posts and posts about general history, which is a pleasure to see in most circumstances, even if it is a little odd to ponder why some entries resonate and others do not. Marketing is not my area of expertise.

Honorable Mention #1: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: ELO/Jeff Lynne/Traveling Wilburys [2]
Categories: Music, History

The #16 post last year, this year the first of 3 honorable mentions from my Rock & Roll Hall of Fame snubs list falls to #23. This post was a little bit less focused than most of my posts on the subject of snubs to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, largely because Jeff Lynne has three possible means of enshrinement, at least that are easy enough to conceive. Given the popularity of his music, his credibility within the music world (not least for his ability to work with a variety of artists and produce successful albums, like numerous albums for Tom Petty and the Beatles Anthology series), and his collaborations, it seems only a matter of time before he gets to sing “Mr. Blue Sky” in Cleveland, a city that could use some of it.

Honorable Mention #2: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Moody Blues [3]
Categories: Music, History

The #19 post last year, this year the second of 3 honorable mentions from my Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Snubs list falls to #22, narrowly missing the top 20. The Moody Blues are a band I have liked since childhood, when I first heard their music, and their importance both to white soul (“Go Now”) and psychedelic music was immense. Their career was long and notable for excellent songs and albums that remain classics. It appears that they have quite a few fans on my blog as well, if not enough to make the top 20 this year.

Honorable Mention #3: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Janet Jackson [4]
Categories: Music, History

Just barely missing out on the top 20 posts of 2014 at #21 is this well-loved post about why Janet Jackson belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. This particular post has been a popular one largely because like a few other bands, no one can believe that Janet Jackson is not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame yet. She wrote songs, she danced and did excellent choreography, and her songs, music videos, and albums were and remain significant milestones in culture and music. Okay, let me get off of my soapbox, as it appears I have a lot of readers who feel the exact same way, many of which express their own agreement. Hopefully someone somewhere is listening.

#20: Psalm 1: And He Shall Be Like A Tree Planted By The Rivers Of Water [5]
Categories: Psalms, Bible, Christianity

The #12 post in 2013 and #20 post in 2012, this year my commentary on Psalm 1 falls eight places to #20. I happened to enjoy writing this particular blog entry as it gave me the chance to reflect on some of the ways in which the organization of the Bible in a larger scheme falls into place. Despite the large span of writing and the diversity of authors, this psalm provides a link between the beginning of the Bible and its end, dealing with the tree of life and the restoration of mankind to paradise. These thoughts have been of interest to people as diverse as John Milton and Hozier, so I suppose it is not too surprising that I would relish the chance to talk about them from time to time.

#19: On The Importance Of Chronology In Studying History [6]
Category: History

Debuting in the top 20 this year at #19 is a post I wrote in 2011 about the importance of understanding chronology as the skeleton upon which an accurate understanding of history depends. This particular blog does deal with one of the major aspects of history I am interested in, the schedule of facts that can preclude certain speculations of causality (for example, a blog entry written before I first met a person cannot therefore be inspired by that person), but it is so divorced from the usual content of the blog that it is a surprise that such a blog entry became first popular so long after being written. In this case, at least, it appears that it was students, especially international students, who were looking for reasons that chronology was important. I am happy to provide high school students with reasons to take their studies seriously. I know I did.

#18: Deuteronomy 20:1-9: Righteous Blood Cries Out For Vengeance [7]
Categories: Bible, Christianity

Debuting in the top 20 this year at #18 is a post I wrote in 2011 about a Bible passage that deals with an obscure law regarding unsolved murders and the principle (discussed elsewhere) that righteous blood, like that of Abel, calls to God for vengeance in some fashion. Although forensics is an area where I do not write often, it is an area of interest of mine, and I think it would be interesting to read a series of novels like Caedfel that served as a study of a priest or Levite who solved mysteries during biblical times. If I do not consider myself to be competent to write a series of novels like that, at least I can do my part for showing how biblical forensics worked.

#17: Psalm 88: For My Soul Is Full Of Troubles [8]
Categories: Sons Of Korah, Psalms, Bible, Christianity

Debuting in the top 20 this year at #17 is a post I wrote in 2011 about one of my favorite psalms from childhood, a psalm about depression that helped to inspire my interest in the Sons of Korah. Psalm 88 is an example of a psalm that has opened up a great deal of understanding about the workings of God, in that God was willing to have a godly believer compose a song about years of ceaseless torment and have it included in scripture about a testament to longsuffering and faith and stubborn perseverance. As dark as this psalm is, and my own reflections on it, ultimately it is a song of hope, and I hope that others see it that way. Eventually the night, no matter how dark or how long, will burst into glorious day.

#16: Numbers 5:11-31: Concerning Jealous Husbands [9]
Categories: Bible, Christianity

The #14 post in 2013 and the #17 post in 2012, this year my reflection on the trial by ordeal of a wife suspected of adultery falls to #16. This particular essay and its meaning took on a whole new significance in 2014. As is frequently the case, I wrote a post about a Bible law with an interest to its larger significance, but wrote about the subject of jealous husbands without any particular clue that any husband would ever have a reason to be jealous about me. That doesn’t mean, of course, that people would not wish to hear my thoughts on jealous husbands in general, or in particular.

#15: Jonadab The Son Of Rechab Shall Not Lack A Man To Stand Before Me Forever [10]
Categories: Bible, Christianity, History

Debuting in the top 20 this year at #15 is a post I wrote in 2012 about one of the more faithful servants of God that can be found in the Bible. Ironically, this post is probably the most popular one I have ever written about the importance of respecting one’s parents, an issue of considerable personal interest and irony. Given the fact that respect for my parents, respect for authorities in general, and respect for the parents of others has been a continual source of drama in my personal life, it is refreshing that my reflections on the blessings given to the Rechabites found here have been so popular. Maybe if people understood the extent of my respect for others, they would be more inclined to be understanding of my ambivalent feelings on the subject of authority.

#14: Seven Things I Learned From The Wisdom Of Agur [11]
Categories: Bible, Christianity, History

Debuting in the top 20 this year at #14 is a post of a sermon I gave in Thailand in 2012 about one of the most obscure authors of the Bible, a man named Agur, whose wisdom can be found in Proverbs 30. Now, Agur is a man whose identity is nearly totally obscured, and all that is known about him comes from his proverbs. Yet those proverbs themselves remain relevant in the way that they encourage moderate living (what we would call a Middle Class lifestyle), show appreciation for servants and those often looked down upon, and have considerable insight on the human and animal world. In addition, they contain a straightforward Messianic prophecy that indicates the knowledge of the nature of God was not so obscure in the ancient world as might be assumed.

#13: Personal Profile: Heman The Ezrahite [12]
Categories: Sons Of Korah, Bible, Christianity, History

The #8 post of 2013, the #4 post of 2012, and the #11 post of 2011, this post about the obscure author of Psalm 88 [8] falls this year to #13, but still remains an enduringly popular post dealing with a man of whom little is known but what is known tells us a lot about God’s compassion on those who struggle with depression and related conditions. The Bible records that Heman was the grandson of the prophet Samuel, that he was one of the leaders of the music service during the time of David and Solomon, that he was immensely wise, and had a large family. Yet this man struggled long with dark gloominess from his youth, a struggle I know well and am glad that it has resonated with others as well, so that they can be comforted in knowing that our struggles are not a sign of divine displeasure, but rather are an occasion for growth and a recognition of our needs.

#12: Psalm 84: How Lovely Is Your Tabernacle/Better Is One Day [13]
Categories: Sons Of Korah, Pslams, Bible, Christianity

The #11 post of 2013, this year my post on the lovely and reflective ode to the temple composed by the Sons of Korah falls one spot to #12. As this psalm has frequently been used and re-used as an ode to express one’s desire to be with God, I am always happy when the psalm itself is appreciated. When people are aware of the sources of their beloved hymns of praise, I think it deepens our appreciation for believers of old, and gives us a sense that we are kindred souls to those who came before us, whose sentiments are so similar to our own, and whose lovely expression of those sentiments can inspire us to praise and celebration even today. We need more reminders of this, that we may feel grateful and appreciative of the passionate sincerity and faith of others even as it increases our own.

#11: Psalm 45: My Tongue Is The Pen Of A Ready Writer [14]
Categories: Sons Of Korah, Psalms, Bible, Christianity

Debuting in the top 20 at #11, the popularity of this post is mystifying to me, in that it is a post that is tremendously optimistic about love in a blog that contains a lot of discussion of difficulties of romance and from an author who tends to be somewhat pessimistic. Like Haley Williams, though, I suppose for a pessimist, I’m pretty optimistic. I wrote this post in 2012, when I lived in Thailand. There are people who might read this post to think that I was discussing some of the young ladies I know, but the truth is that this post was written in a particular context in the summer of 2012 before I ever came to Portland or had any idea about the people I would get to know here. In all honesty, it is very difficult for me to write in a cheery manner about romantic love, given that it is a continual source of personal difficulty in my life, and has been for more than two decades.

#10: Gospel Minus Gospel [15]
Categories: Musing

Debuting in the top 20 at #10, this is the only post in the top 20 to be written this year. I am a bit surprised at its sudden popularity, coming in searches about Hozier’s music being satanic. This popularity surprises me, given that while I considered the religious aspect of Hozier’s romantic love to be blasphemous, and his use of gospel music problematic, I do not consider him any more satanic than, say, U2 with their continual references at bowing down to love interests, which appears quite frequently in their music and may be a blogworthy subject itself. I would like to set the record straight that I have nothing personal against Hozier (and find it odd that Sam Smith, whose use of the gospel choir for his ode to a one night stand with a dude, has nearly entirely escaped the interest of my readers despite being just as problematic as Hozier’s use of Gospel motifs), for what it’s worth.

#9: Proverbs 31:1-9: Lemuel’s Mother And The Duties Of Kings [16]
Categories: Bible, Christianity

Debuting in the top 20 this year at #9 is a post I wrote in 2012 about one of the other obscure figures of Proverbs, the unknown king Lemuel, whose mother was a very wise woman. Some people have equated Lemuel with Solomon, but as is the case with other biblical mysteries (like the mystery of who wrote the Book of Hebrews) I prefer not to speculate too dogmatically where the Bible is silent, and where this is no other evidence we can examine. So, we have here a case of an unknown king receiving advice from his mother not to be a drunken carouser or to dissipate his strength through multiple wives. This is excellent advice for contemporary kings, and crown princes, in the world today. Lemuel’s mother, as a wise woman, deserves credit, and I’m glad that her wisdom is searched out by many readers.

#8: I, Tertius, Wrote This Epistle: A Musing On The Language Of The Renewed Covenant Texts [17]
Categories: Bible, Christianity, History

The #10 post in 2013, this year this obscure post about an obscure biblical figure rises to #8, giving readers a great trivia question to stump their guests: who wrote the book of Romans? Given the fact that there are many very bad theories that attempt to debunk the Bible by positing ridiculous documentary theories, I seek to examine, where we can know it, what the Bible says about its own sources. We can more faithfully rely on the conscientious people who wrote the books of the Bible themselves than on people hundreds of years later who do not even understand the texts that they mangle. After all, if Paul is not ashamed to give credit to the man who copied down his thoughts, we ought not to be ashamed to give God credit for working through such a man as Paul.

#7: On The Difference Between Greek Thought And Hebrew Thought [18]
Categories: Musing, Bible, Christianity

The #22 post of 2012 and the #13 post of 2013, this year one of my more philosophical posts about the difference between Athens and Jerusalem and their ways of thinking jumps to #7. As part of a family of blogs dealing with the relationship of philosophy and religion, and dealing with the importance of nuance and layers (something that is often forgotten when people look at the Bible or other texts), this is a post that I am happy to see read often, as it provides a glimpse as to the layered way in which I think and write. Now, revealing this may not be helpful, as not all meanings are desirable to be known, but I suppose I would rather it be understood that I think and see situations in layers rather than to assume I only look at surface appearances.

#6: The Tragedies Of Amy Winehouse And Jennifer Elliott [19]
Category: Musing

The #1 post of 2011 and 2012 and the #4 post of 2013, this year one of the more surprisingly popular posts of mine falls to #6. Considering that I wrote this post in a massive hurry while getting ready for a visa run to Burma/Myanmar when I lived in Thailand, and the post that I cited from journalist Andrew Macgregor Marshall has been a dead link for years, it is striking how this post, which is almost certainly the fiercest thing I have ever written about the Fox News family, has remained so popular. I hope that both Ms. Winehouse and Ms. Elliott have found some sort of peace; God knows we have enough troubled souls in our world.

#5: Powers Denied To The States: A Constitutional Essay [20]
Categories: Musing, Politics

The #6 post of 2013, #2 post of 2012, and #8 post of 2011, this year my most popular post on constitutional law rises a spot to #5. I am a bit unsure as to why someone like myself, with immensely dubious credentials at writing something authoritative about constitutional law and federalism, should have a post that remains so popular but that attracts very little commentary whatsoever. I am not sure if the people who read this post secretly hate what I have to say about the relationship between the states and the Union or the limitations of sovereignty that the states have, whether they are American government students looking for help on their homework, or what.

#4: On The Three Types Of Leavening [21]
Categories: Christianity, Musing

The #5 post of 2013, #9 post of 2012, and #7 post of 2011, this year my somewhat contentious post on leavening rises one spot to #4. Again, the reason why this post should have so many views when my other reflections on the subject have received hardly any views is a mystery to me. What makes a post popular is something that I do not really have a grasp on. To be sure, there are many people who dislike the fact that I speak so much about mechanical leavening since most people are not interested in questions of the processes by which foods are made that take advantage of the leaven that can be found in air and are more interested in mere ingredients that can be found on a box. This appears to be a systematic bias, and it is unknown to me if most of the people reading that blog entry have any real desire to address that bias in their thinking.

#3: Why Thailand Is A Third World Country [22]
Categories: Politics, Musing

The #3 post of 2013 and #6 post of 2012 holds steady at #3 this year. Again, it is a bit of a mystery to me why so many people (and so many people outside of Thailand) particularly care what I have to say about the country. I suppose it was a bit cheeky of me to write this blog entry while in Thailand (not as cheeky as writing about coups and pornography and anti-Semitism and creepy royalist propaganda and slavery and all sorts of other issues, though, I suppose, which I did while living in Thailand as well and which have only a fraction of the views of this blog entry). Again, as someone who writes about a wide variety of topics, I always find it curious when certain aspects of it receive what I consider to be disproportionate attention when there is much else to discover.

#2: Personal Profile: Obed-Edom [23]
Categories: Sons Of Korah, Bible, History

Holding steady at #2 this year is a post on yet another obscure biblical character, Obed Edom, the most famous Levite gatekeeper of biblical history, apparently, because this post got over 2,500 views last year and again I am mystified as to what led so many people to look for this person, and what led them to my blog. Again, I do not really know what it is about this particular person that is of such great interest to people. I’m flattered that people think my writings about him are worth looking at, but why he should be a subject of such interest is mysterious to me.

#1: Batholomew Called Nathanael: An Israelite In Whom Is No Guile [24]

Holding steady at #1 (it was #7 in 2012) is this post about one of the mid-level apostles in terms of being well known, Bartholmew/Nathanael. Again, despite the fact that the entry is a straightforward discussion of the one major passage where this apostle is listed and a fairly brief synopsis of the way the apostle has been viewed in history and culture, it nonetheless has been a massively popular blog entry. The wide gulf between the popularity of this post and that of the other apostles I have written about so far (Thomas Didymus and Simon Zealotes) has been remarkable, and I cannot account for why this guileless apostle has been so popular unless people are looking for more information than is readily available and/or seeking for some information about me.

Bonus Feature: Top 20 Nations of 2014

In February of 2012, WordPress started a feature wherein readers can look at the views on their blogs by country. I have found this to be a very revealing tool, as it has shown me that although about 2/3 of my readers come from the United States (this is not surprising), 1/3 of my readers are international readers that come from a very consistent group of countries. This is born out by the data below. Among the nations in this year’s top 20, 17 of them were in the top 20 last year, and 18 in 2012. Even more strikingly, 9 of the top 10 nations have remained throughout all three years of this tool, and the top 5 has been unchanged three straight years. This would suggest that there are some enduring and very conservative patterns on my blog in terms of the nations where my readers come from, and not only in those entries which are most viewed.

#1: United States (#1 since 2012)
#2: Great Britain (#2 since 2012)
#3: Canada (#3 since 2012)
#4: Australia (#4 since 2012)
#5: Philippines (#5 since 2012)
#6: India (#7 in 2012, #6 in 2013)
#7: South Africa (#8 in 2012, #10 in 2013)
#8: Singapore (#9 in 2012, #8 in 2013)
#9: Thailand (#6 in 2012, #7 in 2013)
#10: Nigeria (#18 in 2012, #13 in 2013)
#11: Malaysia (#11 since 2012)
#12: New Zealand (#14 in 2012, #12 in 2013)
#13: Germany (#12 in 2012, #14 in 2013)
#14: Netherlands (#10 in 2012, #9 in 2013)
#15: Kenya (#19 in 2012, #15 in 2013)
#16: Italy (#17 in 2012 and 2013)
#17: United Arab Emirates (NR in 2012 and 2013)
#18: Indonesia (#20 in 2012, NR in 2013)
#19: Ireland (#13 in 2012, #19 in 2013)
#20: Ghana (NR in 2012 and 2013)

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/edge-induced-cohesion-2014-in-review-part-1/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/edge-induced-cohesion-2013-in-review-part-two/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/edge-induced-cohesion-2012-in-review-version-two/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/edge-induced-cohesion-2011-in-review/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/01/01/edge-induced-cohesion-top-10-posts-of-2010/

[2] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-elo-jeff-lynne-traveling-wilburys/

[3] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-the-moody-blues/

[4] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-janet-jackson/

[5] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/psalm-1-and-he-shall-be-like-a-tree-planted-by-the-rivers-of-water/

[6] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/on-the-importance-of-chronology-in-understanding-history/

[7] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/deuteronomy-21-1-9-righteous-blood-cries-out-for-vengeance/

[8] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/psalm-88-for-my-soul-is-full-of-troubles/

[9] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/04/02/numbers-5-11-31-concerning-jealous-husbands/

[10] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/jonadab-the-son-of-rechab-shall-not-lack-a-man-to-stand-before-me-forever/

[11] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/seven-things-i-learned-from-the-wisdom-of-agur/

[12] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/personal-profile-heman-the-ezrahite/

[13] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/psalm-84-how-lovely-is-your-tabernacle-better-is-one-day/

[14] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/psalm-45-my-tongue-is-the-pen-of-a-ready-writer/

[15] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/gospel-minus-gospel/

[16] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/proverbs-31-1-9-lemuels-mother-and-the-duties-of-kings/

[17] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/i-tertius-wrote-this-epistle-a-musing-on-the-language-of-the-renewed-covenant-texts/

[18] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/on-the-difference-between-greek-thought-and-hebrew-thought/

[19] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/the-tragedies-of-amy-winehouse-and-jennifer-elliott/

[20] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/powers-denied-to-the-states-a-constitutional-essay/

[21] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/on-the-three-types-of-leavening/

[22] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/why-thailand-is-a-third-world-country/

[23] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/personal-profile-obed-edom/

[24] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/bartholmew-called-nathanael-an-israelite-in-whom-there-is-no-guile/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Edge Induced Cohesion: 2014 In Review: Part Two

  1. Pingback: Edge Induced Cohesion: 2015 In Review (Part Two) | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Edge Induced Cohesion: 2016 In Review | Edge Induced Cohesion

  3. Pingback: Edge Induced Cohesion: 2017 In Review | Edge Induced Cohesion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s