It is a new year and that means a new reader’s poll. Every year I put one of these together to get a sense for who my readers are and what they most value in The Scholar’s Stage. This is a special poll because in a few weeks a redesigned Scholar’s Stage will be launched, and this poll is your last chance to comment on what shape you would like it to take.
You can access that survey here. That survey is open to all readers; a slightly tweaked version is available to my lower tier patreon supports here, and my higher tier supporters here. I place special value on feedback from my patrons, and so have split up the surveys accordingly.
The survey has three parts. The first asks about how you originally found this website and what content you most want to see published on it; the second is a demographic questionnaire, and the third asks basic questions about your political beliefs. I only ask that you fill out the first section. I would be pleased, however, if you filled out the other two, as I am curious about the demographics of this site’s readership. If enough people fill the second and third sections out, I will write a post up that explores the data.
One of the questions on the survey asks what posts of things you most enjoy reading here at the Stage. I split my posts up into five broad categories:
1) ‘Clear eyed’ takes on international affairs and contemporary security issues (with a focus on East and Southeast Asia).
2) Long-form essays on macro-historical topics or little known historical events (with a focus on East and Southeast Asia).
3) Accessible summaries or excerpts from larger books or studies in social science or history
4) Criticism and analysis of modern American culture, politics, or society through a comparative or historical lens.
5) Meditations, musings, and long form essays on great works of literature, political philosophy, and history
In the second category I would file my long essay on the UN intervention in Cambodia for Palladium, the post “On Sparks Before the Prairie Fire,” as well as older posts like my series on the Han-Xiongnu wars.
The third category might include some of my most popular posts (like “Tradition is Smarter Than You Are“) as well some of the smaller posts from this year (including January’s “Bootstrapping Marx,” December’s “A Theory of Authoritarian Politics” or September’s “On Diplomats in Chief“.)
Some posts defy all categories (see “Why Do Public Intellectuals Have Short Shelf Lives“) or fall under multiple categories (see “Spengler and the Search for a Science of Human Culture“). But by and large I think these five categories describe the majority of what I write. Take the survey and tell me which sort of thing you like best!
EDIT: Because I have received several questions about this: in the Likert scale questions at the bottom of the survey, “1” means unfavorable and “5” means favorable.