Complete 2016 Roundup

This entry is part 10 of 17 in the series Annual Roundups

Here’s the complete roundup for 2016. I’ve changed the format this year and have grouped the roundup by author and medium, to help you discover some of our new contributors and experimental content more easily. We had 8 new contributors, 3 returning contributors, and 2 regulars (Sarah and me) all together contributing 57 posts, of which 42 were longform, and 15 were  other media: audio (1), video (4), cartoons (6) and slide decks (4). It was a satisfying growth year, topping half a million visitors for the first time, and growing by between 25-33% depending on which metric you like.


Other highlights this year: a new high-watermark viral hit post that beat the Gervais Principle in single-day traffic, Artem vs. Predator, the first ever ribbonfarm longform blogging course (you’ll see the output in the next 2 months), and the first year when I was not the biggest longform contributor on the site (Sarah Perry had 12 posts, I had 11, not counting my experimental non-longform posts). I did, however, set a new ribbonfarm record for length: King Ruinous and the City of Darkness weighed in at over 14,000 words, nearly twice the previous record of around 8000.

The ribbonfarm map also evolved this year, and acquired a video tour, in Trace of the Weirding. If you’re new to ribbonfarm, this video and map might be helpful as a general overview of what we’re about.

New readers (here is the new readers start page) this year might also want to check out the 2015 roundup2014 roundup and 2013 roundup. If you want to do some binge reading further back into the archives, there is a page for the Rust Age (2007-12) with both curated selections and complete roundups for 2007-12.

Anyhow, click on with the roundup.

  1. New Ribbonfarm Contributors for 2016
    1. The Strategy of (Subversive) Conflict by Adam Elkus
    2. The Cyberpunk Sensibility by Sonya Mann
    3. Robert Martinson and the Tragedy of the American Prison by Adam Humphreys
    4. Startups, Secrets, and Abductive Reasoning by Joseph Kelly
    5. Paradox and the Origins of Civilisation by Darren Allen
    6. Crowds and Technology by Renee DiResta
    7. Welcome to Nixonland by Carlos Bueno
    8. A Good Name Points to You by Carlos Bueno
    9. A Framework of Experimental Habit Formation by Tiago Forte
    10. Meta-Skills, Macro-Laws, and the Power of Constraints by Tiago Forte
    11. The Holy Grail of Self-Improvement by Tiago Forte
    12. Productivity for Precious Snowflakes by Tiago Forte
  2. Returning Contributors
    1. Overpowered Metrics Eat Underspecified Goals by David Manheim
    2. The Future of Compromise by David Manheim
    3. Goodhart’s Law and Why Measurement is Hard by David Manheim
    4. Go Corporate or Go Home by David Manheim
    5. The Daredevil Camera by Artem Litvinovich
    6. Artem vs. Predator by Artem Litvinovich
    7. Minimum Viable Superorganism by Kevin Simler
  3. Sarah Perry
    1. A Pseudoethnography of Egregores by Sarah Perry
    2. The Origin of Authenticity in the Breakdown of the Illusion of the Real by Sarah Perry
    3. The Art of the Conspiracy Theory by Sarah Perry
    4. A Bad Carver by Sarah Perry
    5. The Systems of the World by Sarah Perry
    6. The Theory of Narrative Selection by Sarah Perry
    7. Inequalities by Sarah Perry
    8. Free Money by Sarah Perry
    9. On Some Possibilities for Life as a Joke by Sarah Perry
    10. Business as Magic by Sarah Perry
    11. Dares, Costly Signals, and Psychopaths by Sarah Perry
    12. The Quality Without a Name at the Betsy Ross Museum by Sarah Perry
  4. Venkatesh Rao
    1. The Epic Struggle between Good and Neutral by Venkatesh Rao
    2. King Ruinous and the City of Darkness by Venkatesh Rao
    3. Speak Weirdness to Truth by Venkatesh Rao
    4. Examining the Accidental Life by Venkatesh Rao
    5. How to Take Your Brain Off-Road by Venkatesh Rao
    6. The Principia Misanthropica by Venkatesh Rao
    7. Immortality Begins at Forty by Venkatesh Rao
    8. Human-Complete Problems by Venkatesh Rao
    9. Fat Thinking and Economies of Variety by Venkatesh Rao
    10. The Liminal Explorer of the Adjacent Possible (fiction) by Venkatesh Rao
    11. When Tools Shape You by Venkatesh Rao
  5. Berliners Comic Strip (abandoned) 
    1. Berliners #11: Snowflaking Out by Venkat and Grace
    2. Berliners #10: Pie-Carving by Venkat and Grace
    3. Berliners #9: The Scent of a Yak by Venkat and Grace
    4. Berliners #8: Red String by Venkat and Grace
    5. Berliners #7: Organic, Free-Range Chicken and Egg by Venkat and Grace
    6. Berliners #6: Purgatorinomics by Venkat and Grace
  6. Slide Decks
    1. The Computational Condition by Venkatesh Rao (one-off)
    2. The Weird State of Capitalism by Mick Costigan (Refactor Camp)
    3. The Weird State of the State by Venkatesh Rao (Refactor Camp)
    4. Weird Crowds, Weird Planet by Megan Lubaszka, Renee DiResta (WC), Jordan Peacock, Sam Penrose (WP) (Refactor Camp)
  7. Video and Audio
    1. Radical Candor (video) by Venkatesh Rao
    2. Can the European Union Break Smart? (video) by Venkatesh Rao
    3. Mapping Organizational Realities (video) by Venkatesh Rao
    4. Trace of the Weirding (video) by Venkatesh Rao
    5. Podcasts with Longform and Farnam Street (audio) by Venkatesh Rao
Series Navigation<< Complete 2015 RoundupComplete 2017 Roundup >>

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  1. An excellent showing by all!

  2. 2016 was the year I discovered RibbonFarm. Yet another indicator that 2016 was not all that bad. Keep up the great work everyone!

    In a world obsessed with 140 characters and TLDRs, your long-form is a tonic for the malnourished.