Friday, January 1, 2016

Top posts (and top neglected posts) of 2015

For the record, I have no idea what is happening in this picture.

In the spirit of the season (and as a result of significant peer pressure), I thought it might be of interest to list the best posts of the past year. Of course, it is unclear what “best” means in this context. Should I link to the posts with the most comments? The most page views? The most shares? These are complicated measures, in part because a significant amount of blog-based conversation takes place off site and a surprising number of people respond to the question in the title without actually reading the post. Also, all of those measures indicate popularity, not quality, and I’d like to think that good is more important than popular. I'd like to think that my own judgment is also a factor in determining whether a post ended up being good or not.

So, the links below are posts that I determine to be the most “successful”: a mixture of interesting topic, good responses, and writing that I like. They are all posts that engaged people’s imagination, if not ire, and in at least once case, significant praise. So, without further ado, here are the “Top PQED posts of 2015”:

Many Weddings and a Funeral: How to be an American on June 26, 2015
If we have free speech, how come it's okay to punish us for what we say?
Mad Max: Fury Road is a very very bad movie. (And what makes a good movie plot anyway?)
Are college students adults?

Yes, the attacks in Paris were about religion. Stop saying they weren’t. 
How should I react to my racist parents?

How should people respond to anti-vaccination parents?

Now, because I think it’s also important to focus on the things that didn’t go as well as I had hoped, here are a coupe of posts I wish got more attention than they did. They are all posts that discuss important and controversial topics, that need more public philosophical attention.

No one cares what kind of gun you have: an open letter to gun-rights activists.
Are we hypocrites (or bigots) if we care more about Paris than Beirut?
Won’t someone please think of the parents?!?! Star Wars and the other victims of mass shootings.

And finally, here is a political prediction I made that is still on track to come true:

Why the current email controversy is evidence that Hillary Clinton will be president. (Or, some thoughts on political argument).

If you have any suggestions for other posts (or thoughts on these), I'd love to see them below.

Follow the author on Twitter at: @jackrweinstein

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