These you have loved …

To be honest, I am as bad as the rest of you! I almost daily visit someone’s website or blog, read their words of wisdom, download papers, talks, or overhead slides, and learn a huge amount this way. Yet I almost never post a comment or drop an e-mail to say “thanks”. Which doesn’t at all reflect how appreciative I am, or acknowledge what a difference all this web activity has made to my logical life. I am genuinely grateful.

And so I can hardly feel aggrieved when, in its turn, this blog gets about 900 visits a day, some of the papers and handouts posted here have been downloaded thousands of times, and then I get about one email every three months. (Hold on … maybe that’s welcome! What if even one in fifty visitors mailed ..?). Still, it is good to check out last year’s summary stats and find that the number of visitors steadily drifts upwards, and stuff indeed does get read.

It is  surprising too to discover what gets particularly picked up. For example, leaving aside stuff related to my logic book and the much-downloaded Gödel Without Tears series (yes, I’ll be finishing the updates on that over the coming weeks), who would have guessed that over 3000 people would have been interested enough to fetch the handout on Galois connections I dashed off for some grad students a few months back. It was very nice to see too that quite a few people downloaded my two page handout on Kleene’s very pretty proof of the first incompleteness theorem which deserves to be better known, and a similar number downloaded a longer expository piece on how to read Kreisel’s squeezing argument, something else that should be better understood (a later version of the latter has now been published in Analysis). As to other webpages, the LaTeX for Logicians section gets steadily visited (as one might have expected, though I’ve not been doing much to maintain it recently — I wonder if there is anyone out there who would sooner or later like to pick up the baton and run with it?). And I was amused to see that the special page I dashed off in the first flush of excitement as a proud owner of an iPad got visited over 8000 times in just five months (though I guess I should update that page: I’d now mention some limitations as well as the things it does well …).

Anyway, as I said, it is rather nice to know I’m not just talking to myself here. So very best wishes for 2011 to all of you out there. And thanks for reading!

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13 Responses to These you have loved …

  1. Xamuel says:

    Usually I don’t comment because your posts tend to be more on the philosophical side of things while I’m more into the mathematical side of things. Thanks for writing, though, it is appreciated. As a mathematician, I’m totally unaware of the many different “isms” in philosophy (my own ism being the “make a definition and prove some damn theorems-ism”) so I absorb some terminology from your blog that I otherwise never would ;)

  2. Aldo Antonelli says:

    Peter — I am regular reader, subscribe to your RSS feed and dash over whenever you post something new. So, thanks for all your efforts.

  3. Ulrik says:

    I’m following on the RSS feed and I very much enjoy reading your posts. So let me just say Thanks and Happy New Year!

  4. I’ve also never commented here (as far as I remember), but I’ve been enjoying your posts all the way since 2006. There’s no other blog from which I’ve learnt as much as from yours. Thanks!

  5. mkal says:

    Happy New Year to all of you! Never commented before here or elsewhere, but I need to say that as I recently bought ‘Introduction to Formal Logic’, it seems for the moment that I finally found a good point to start. Of course, as my native language is not English, I encounter some minor difficulties on reading it, but I think it’s ok. I just hope to keep studing and be able to understand some more advanced stuff in the future. Thank you

  6. Geoff Purser says:

    Hi Peter,
    I recently found your website through my personal journey to understand basic logic. I am grateful to you for helping me in that.

  7. Craig Carley says:


    I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for your diligence and work. Thanks also for the reminder to express my gratitude to all who have helped me along the way. I discovered your site a few years ago when I began using LaTeX, but now I look forward to reading your postings and reviewing your handouts and slides.

    All the best,

  8. Miroslav Dobsicek says:


    thanks! And all the best for 2011.


  9. Thank you, Peter. I think I’ve downloaded everything you’ve put on the blog. If I also had read all of it, I would have been a better man. Keep up the good work!

  10. Catarina Dutilh Novaes says:

    Hi Peter,
    As so many others, I’ve been a silent but avid reader of your blog. And just so that you see how fruitful it’s been for me, your notes on the squeezing argument were extremely useful to shape up a paper which had already been written, but which got much better (or so I think!) once your take on the squeezing argument came into the picture:

    So thanks!

  11. Adam Frank says:

    I’ve just discovered this blog and it’s been lovely reading so far. I have even used your LaTeX instructions without realizing that they were interweb-edly connected to one of my studies of passion!

    For the love of logic, thank you!

  12. Mark says:

    As a non-logician/philosopher/mathematician your posts have helped shape my worldview as an investment strategist. I’ve come to understand my craft, which involves a great deal of uncertainty, on a more intimate level. Many of the theories and concepts covered on your blog, in my mind, are more useful than the traditional, more ceremonial, rhetoric bandied about in my industry.

  13. Carlo says:

    Hi M. Smith,
    It looks like it’s the right place to write this : I thank you very much for your introductory book on Gödel’s theorem. It was exactly the book I was looking for (and you know, as a reader, what it means). I have a new dream since I read your book. The title would be : Modern physics for philosophers. And the writer would be Peter Smith.

    I wish you a happy new year.
    (I’m french so sorry for my english)!

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