Most Popular MR Posts of 2017

by on December 29, 2017 at 7:25 am in Current Affairs | Permalink

The most popular post on MR for 2017 was my post, Switzerland is Prepared for Civilizational Collapse. Who can tell what will go viral? I suppose people are thinking a lot about civilizational collapse in recent times.

Next was Tyler’s post on Richard Thaler’s Nobel Prize.

There’s a lot of interest in Tyler’s religious beliefs as What is the Strongest Argument for the Existence of God? and Why I Don’t Believe in God were both widely read and commented upon.

Next came a bunch of econ posts from both Tyler and myself including:

Not surprisingly politics was also popular, including Tyler’s The Show so Far and Who Should be Shamed? and my post Authoritarians Distract Rather than Debate.

Overall, what strikes me is how normal 2017 seems. Compare with last year’s top posts, which are crazy. I don’t think 2017 was any less crazy than 2016 but–god help us–crazy has become normal.

1 matthew December 29, 2017 at 7:39 am

The hyperlink for ‘What it Would Take to Change My Mind on Net Neutrality’ is a dud

2 Some Guy December 29, 2017 at 8:37 am

Tyler and Alex, thanks for another great year. It’s hard believe you’ve been at this since 2003!

3 Rick December 29, 2017 at 8:52 am

…..good to know which posts readers most respond to — but how do Tyler/Alex choose what to post in the first place, among the gazillions of possible topics & tidbits ?

4 Transnational Pants Machine December 29, 2017 at 8:59 am

>I suppose people are thinking a lot about civilizational collapse in recent times.

It’s been over a year since the old bag lost the election. I suggest you let it go.

5 msgkings December 29, 2017 at 12:40 pm

It’s been over a year since the new bag won the election. He’s still a mess.

6 Mo Flo December 30, 2017 at 10:43 pm

You mean, the permanent government is still frenetically bucking the efforts of the President to assume the full suite of traditional, historical, and natural Presidential powers?

Yes, it may be some time yet before situation is fully normalized, comrade.

7 Bill December 29, 2017 at 9:08 am

How do you measure “Most Popular”. The number of comments to the second one–80–doesn’t seem that high?

If its forwarding the item to someone, then that explains #1: the story and pictures of Switzerland, sent to persons in Switzerland.

If this is how you measure popularity,


Puppy Pictures.

8 Alex Tabarrok December 29, 2017 at 10:03 am

We measure popularity with pageviews. Sure, we could do lots of things to be more “popular” but popularity is something we look at once a year not something we consciously aim for.

9 clockwork_prior December 29, 2017 at 10:22 am

Somehow, I doubt that a certain product manager likes being so easily dismissed.

10 The Prince December 29, 2017 at 9:13 am

After reading Alex’s informative and interesting telsa post and the vindictive comments that followed it, am I wrong in suggesting telsa fans are part of some sort of religious or cult organization? They make apple fans seem positively delightful and objective by comparison.

11 Jack December 29, 2017 at 9:35 am

Maybe you should stop shilling for Big Oil.

12 NPW December 29, 2017 at 10:11 am

Alex made an idiotic post and got savaged for it. One doesn’t need to be a Tesla groupie to mock poorly thought out ideas. Tesla engages in standard business practices that their customers were fully aware of. For Alex to state that this was a marketing faux-pas is neither informative or interesting, it was ignorant.

The average Apple fan will just straight up refuse to look at the evidence, whereas, Tesla fans make a point to know every detail. I can’t say where that leaves their relative objectivity.

If I had the money for and interest in owning multiple cars, I’d buy a Tesla. I like the X.

Still wouldn’t buy a Mac.

13 Justin December 29, 2017 at 12:52 pm

Come on – read the comments. The majority of them fundamentally misunderstand the notion of damaged goods. Alex’s point is that Tesla sells an inferior version of the product, despite being able to supply the better version without additional costs, in order to price discriminate. Then the comments are largely saying that the consumer’s already knew the products were damaged but were willing to accept that for a lower price. For example this comment – “In otherwords, the buyers knew the car was that way. It also had several other things limited software wise. But the buyers decided to pay less and get less. They are not damaged at all. Pathetic, misleading, idiotic, moronic reporting.” In other words, exactly what Alex said, but Tesla fan boys got their feelings hurt.

14 NPW December 29, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Actually what Alex said was that there would be a damaged goods problem because owners would realize on reflection that a software update was able to to make the change. The comments correctly pointed out that it was not a problem because the owners already knew they had damaged goods.

The majority were fundamentally correct on the notion that there was not a problem.

Alex said that the owners would be upset that their cars were limited and would ask why. He is wrong, as the customers already knew the answer why.

This is not unusual. Most of us have used hardware that is artificially limited by software. We’ve used software that is limited by the license even though the code is installed. This was also in the comments, and in the paper that Alex linked. It’s standard practice and not something that when revealed was going to make people upset.

Alex made the contention that there was a problem and that it was a marketing mistake. It wasn’t a marketing mistake if everyone already knew and didn’t care. Which was also in the comments.

Com’n man. Read the comments.

Increased battery usage at the edges increases the rate of battery deterioration. Given that Tesla has a battery replacement policy (8 years I think), it is not without additional costs. The increased cost likely factors in the increased MTBF which in this case is 70% reduction in storing charge, I believe.

15 Tim December 29, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Yup, NPW got his fanboy feelings hurt. Bizarrely since Alex said damaging goods can be Pareto optimal!

16 Matt F. December 29, 2017 at 9:21 am

Tyrone is notably absent — what Tyrone said when Obama was president is much of what Tyler says now.

17 clockwork_prior December 29, 2017 at 9:57 am

‘I suppose people are thinking a lot about civilizational collapse in recent times.’

Or mocking it.

18 ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ December 29, 2017 at 10:31 am

I want a most read vs most commented scatter plot.

19 Bill December 29, 2017 at 8:13 pm

2017 isn’t over yet!

Does that mean the rest of the year’s posts will be downhill from here?

20 Graham December 29, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Regarding Tesla’s ‘damaged goods’ I just wanted to say Fuji Xerox do the same thing with their high end printer/ copiers – they ship the same innards and the software switches determine how fast the machine will print between the different models. This is great for my workplace. We get high quality print path hardware and the high end users effectively subsidise that (or subsidise the profits FX wishes to make). The slowed down printers are still plenty fast enough for our needs.

21 Thursday December 30, 2017 at 2:18 pm

I’ll note that Tyler still needs to read Edward Feser’s Five Proofs of the Existence of God and David Bentley Hart’s The Experience of God.

I can provide a free Kindle version of Feser’s book to anyone who emails me at

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