The History of this Website

January 2019

The modern version of “revolution” is “disruption,” and disruption becomes the default mode of operation in our global society. Everything is increasingly interconnected, but the direction of change is not easily discernible.

Website Changes in 2018

The effects of this transformative flow of technology and communication can be seen on this website: it became almost obsolete, even though it went through a major transformation in 2018 and got more bandwidth and better technology. It has a new web server, a new hosting provider, and a new domain name. There was a major design overhaul in order to make it easier to maneuver and more readable on different devices. You can still find the old website here. The underlying WordPress platform was upgraded to version 5, which brought major changes, and a lot of backward compatibilities disappeared. As a result, some older portions of this website are sometimes misaligned and need to be updated. This affects especially images or pages with subdivisions. All these changes caused a writing slowdown; the focus is now on repair.

In many ways, life has improved for many people on this planet. This was pointed out by Hans Rosling in his book “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think.” There is an accompanying website with an abundance of data and very smart data visualization, maintained by Max Roser of Oxford University

Ocean near Baker's Beach

January 2018

If we want that everything remains the way it is, everything must change.

(Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga come e’, bisogna che tutto cambi.)

Lampedusa: “Il Gattopardo,” 1958.

Conservative or Nationalist Governments prevail in many countries, but what are they conserving? How much do our beliefs and opinions even matter in this dynamic and transformational reality? States and governments will continue to lose influence and power in the move towards globalization.

Globalization can be defined as “the process of creating networks of connections among actors, mediated through a variety of flows including people, information, and ideas, capital and goods. Globalization is conceptualized as a process that erodes national boundaries, integrates national economies, cultures, technologies, and governance, and produces complex relations of mutual interdependence.” 1 Good governance and honest cooperation with others remain essential to a country’s success.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, remains a voice of hope for the world. He issued a grim warning at the end of 2017: “The globe is on red alert following a year marked by deepening conflicts and new dangers.”

Statistics for 2017

The traffic for this website has grown more than ever before in 2017. Here are some numbers, measured by the AWSTATS traffic analyzer:

  • The website had 205,682 unique visitors in 2017, which means that the traffic almost doubled compared to the year before. If the trend holds, we will reach 300,000 unique visitors in 2018.
  • We had a little more than 280,000 total visits, and 8.9 million hits. During the last three months of 2017, the website received more than a million hits per month.
  • I created 12 new posts in 2017 and 58 new pages. The website now has a total of 112 posts and 501 pages. In its current form, the website is now 5 years old. It has outgrown its hosting platform, and also its organizational structure.

Pictures from Europe

During December 2017 I visited Europe and went to London, Amsterdam, Würzburg, Nürnberg, and Coburg. The full version of this gallery can be seen here.

January 2017

The year of 2016 in review:

  • The UK wants to leave Europe, and voted for Brexit.
  • The US Election is a disaster: Trump loses the popular vote but wins through the Electoral College, and with the help of the Russians.
  • A coup d’état in Turkey backfires, and Erdogan dismantles most of his government machine: tens of thousands lose their jobs, or get imprisoned. He also closes all Philosophy Departments and is rebuilding Turkey as a Nationalist and Islamist State.
  • The Syrian government, with the help of Russia, destroys Aleppo and sends more refugees to Turkey and Europe.
  • More than 5000 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2016 alone, and the U.N. estimates that about 400,000 people have been killed in Syria since the war started in 2011.
  • Self-driving cars are hitting the road.
  • The environmental record is worse than predicted: mass extinction is underway, and the oceans are rising.
  • During December 2016 I visited Germany to meet with friends and family. I was mainly in Berlin and Coburg, my hometown.
Coburg Christmas Market

Statistics for 2016

The traffic for this website continued to grow rapidly in 2016, according to the AWSTATS traffic analyzer. Here are some numbers:

  • The website had 115,194 unique visitors, with 1.44 visits per visitor. On average, each visitor calls up 6.6 pages. Compared to 2015, the number of visitors grew by 38,925, or more than 50%, over the total of 2015. If the trend holds, we will reach 150,000 visitors in 2017, which means that the traffic volume doubled in two years.
  • There were 165,449 total visits, 763,500 pages called, and 5.01 million hits.
  • I created 19 posts in 2016; the website now has 100 posts.
  • I also added 35 pages (pages are different from posts, which are only written by me. Pages contain quotes from various authors as well as longer texts). Now the website has a total of 443 pages.
  • The search phrase that brought the most traffic to is still “characteristics of human rights,” which lands visitors on a post from January 2015 about Human Rights.
  • The website currently runs on WordPress version 4.7

January 2016

The geopolitical order has been shifting in 2015: It was the year of the refuges. Middle-Eastern people are flooding into Europe. Radical ideologies fight for influence, nationalist sentiments are on the rise in Russia, China, and Europe. The stock market has not done very well. The world population reached 7.4 billion people in 2015. What are some of the basic trends?

  • Refugees: Syria’s civil war started in 2011 and has been the main driver of mass displacement. More than 4.2 million Syrian refugees fled the country, and 7.6 million are uprooted within Syria. The countries bordering conflict zones host the lion’s share of the refugees, like Jordan or Turkey. This leads to growing resentment and the politicization of refugees.
  • Germany alone absorbed  1.1 million refugees in  2015. With a total population of 81 million, there is now a one-to-eight ratio of foreigners, and the migration has not yet reached an end. The people who came are not other Europeans: They are mostly Muslims, coming from a war-torn country, they don’t speak German, and they don’t understand how the German society works. But the majority of Germans understand that an influx of young people will be beneficial for Germany and its economy.
  • The 28 European Union countries together currently have a population of 503 million people. The total foreign-born population residing in the EU in 2014 is 33 million people, which is 7% of the EU population. By comparison, the foreign-born population in Japan is 1.63% of the total population, and the number of people living in the USA who were born outside of the country reached 13.7% in 2015 and is projected to hit 14.9% in 2025.
  • Worldwide, the refugee problem is bigger than it ever was since World War II. The number of people fleeing their homes has surpassed 60 million. in 2015, 1 in every 122 humans is fleeing from their homes. In addition, an estimated 34 million people were internally displaced in their own countries. Antonio Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement: “Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything,”
  • Artificial Intelligence becomes mainstream: The Amazon Echo arrived in American households in late 2015, and Google assistants soon followed.

Website Statistics for 2015

  • 76,269 unique visitors, with 1.44 visits per visitor. (measured by unique IP numbers). This is an increase of more than 20,000 visitors compared to 2014.
  • 121,889 total visits, 1,305,064 number of pages called, and 3,8 million total hits.
  • I created 23 posts in 2015, which brings the total number to 81 posts today. This was my most productive year so far in terms of this website.
  • I also added 19 pages (pages are different from posts, which are only written by me. Pages contain quotes from various authors as well as longer texts). Now the website has a total of 408 pages.
  • The search phrase that brought the most traffic to is “characteristics of human rights,” which lands visitors on a post from January 2015 about Human Rights.
  • I did not make any changes to the layout or the structure of this website, other than the regular updates. It is running on WordPress version 4.4.

January 2015

2014 was a year of progress and setbacks. 76,000 people died in Syria in 2014 alone; 5000 so far in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the North Korean government is still doing its murderous work. China is as repressive as it always was, and Putin turns out to be a disaster for Russia.

On a personal note, I am busy with teaching, clients, and working as Clinical Director for the internship program at Agesong/Woodpark. I am also the CFO of CAMFT, the California Psychotherapy Association. I was busier in 2014 than in the years before, and I feel the need to return to a calmer life in 2015, with more focus on the work that I like and on vacations.

Statistics for 2014

This website continues to get more traffic ( I am using AWstats software to track the numbers. This is an open-source web analytics software package.

  • In 2014, the website had 55,411 unique visitors, which is an increase of almost 25% over the year before. In 2013, there were 45,683 unique visitors, and in 2012 there were 33,140 people visiting the site. If the trend continues, the site will get over 100,000 unique visitors by 2018.
  • Visitor normally came back at least once, and with 2 visits per visitor, the website had a total of 107,651 visits. The total number of pages called up was 687,610, and the total number of hits was 1,718,549 for 2014.
  • I added 12 new posts and 29 new pages through the year, for a total of 59 posts and 389 pages.
  • We are currently at WordPress version 4.1, which is a big improvement over the version from a year ago. The web is changing: the future is mobile, and sooner or later I will replace my theme again, even though it is only 2 years old. It is still primarily a desktop theme optimized for mobile browsers. The Stanford Encyclopedia for Philosophy updated their theme last year, and it is now very easy to read on mobile devices.

January 2014

The new year has come faster than I wanted it, another sign that everything is accelerating. Here is a summary of the changes for this website in the last year, as well as a look forward:

Statistics for 2013

  • I made a radical design change last October; now the website works well on mobile devices and tablets.
  • The numbers have gone up: In 2013, the site had 45683 unique visitors (up from 33140 a year earlier) with more than 100.000 total visits, and over 730,000 pages called.
  • I added 69 new pages and 21 posts during 2013. The whole site currently consists of 48 posts and 360 pages.
  • The distinction between pages and posts is somewhat fuzzy in WordPress. Pages have more static content from other sources. Posts contain my own writing or commentary. Posts are more time-sensitive, and they are the reason why a website is a blog rather than a content management system.
  • We are currently at WordPress version 3.8. The platform changed a lot during the last year, and more changes are coming. The web itself is changing – it becomes a more and more fluid environment. Different services are beginning to interact strongly, and websites are predominantly driven by databases and software elements, rather than consisting of simple texts. The web extends to different device classes which are less screen-dependent. (60% of visitors use mobile devices.) Google Glass is in the news as the next big trend: It is a new device that adds a layer of virtual information to the experience of reality. It is an example of what anthropologists would call “extended agency.”

Also, in 2013 the Bay Area got a beautiful new Bay Bridge that connects Oakland to San Francisco.

October 2013: New Website Design

My website became the target of a massive spam and hacking attack in August 2013. After some attempts to fix the problems, I finally decided to overhaul the whole site and switch to a new design. The attacks originated mainly from Chinese servers and slowed down the site considerably. My hosting service proved to be very helpful. Here is an image of the old website, before the changes:

The new design offers considerable advantages over the old website. I created the old site in 2011, and at the time I did not think of mobile phones or tablets – I was only focused on regular desktops. The percentage of desktop computers in relation to total internet devices continues to shrink rapidly, and the new website will become more user-friendly for smaller devices. The new theme is a grid-style masonry design that scales easily to all devices. It includes infinite scroll on the front page.

This is the fourth incarnation of my website. I started this website project in 1998, and over time it accumulate more and more content which also become outdated after a while. As of October 2013 the site has 316 pages (content from elsewhere) and 40 posts (content written by me).

Statistics: The site gets approximately 4000 unique visitors per month. It is just a hobby, and I early on I decided that I am not going to run any advertisement here. I am inspired by other small websites that offer great value to the public. You can find a list of my favorite websites here.  

One of my goals in creating this design has been the ease of access. I need a menu structure that is very easy to navigate. The new design is more image-focused, which reflects our increasingly visual culture.

January 2012 is in existence for a little over a year. It is based on an older website, I switched domain names and continue to use the old address as a professional psychotherapy website.

The new website is based on the WordPress platform, and it has taken about a year to develop.

Statistics in 2012 had 33140 unique visitors in 2012, with a total of 52614 visits, and over 426000 pages called. The total number of hits exceeded 2.1 million.  It’s not bad for the first year, but still far below the numbers of my old website, which was almost unchanged for 11 years until I took it down in Oct 2011. It’s amazing that one can reach so many people so easily via the Internet.

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