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!