Our Most Popular Posts of 2014

December 31, 2014 By Wait But Why

The gargantuan SpaceX post is coming soon. In the meantime, here’s our 2014 end-of-year post with the year’s most popular posts.

Every year, the last few days of December are full of every site aggressively reviewing the year for us. It’s time to reflect, whether you like it or not.

Well fuck it—we’re a website, and it’s time to join the coercive reflection party.

2014 was a fun year for us at Wait But Why—we explored a bunch of new kinds of topics, took our first crack at making a store, launched a new way for readers to interact with the Dinner Table, and the summer travel series was definitely a thing that was a thing. On the personal side, my New Year’s resolution a year ago was “Next year, Tuesday means Tuesday” and then I proceeded to post on time between 0 and 2 times. Exciting year all around.

We posted a bunch of large and small things throughout the year on different parts of the site—but at the core were 35 big, long posts (you can find all of them in the Archive). So which of them did best?

Here are the ten most popular posts of 2014:

The Fermi Paradox – Scientists estimate that there are over 100,000 intelligent alien civilizations in our galaxy—but we never see evidence of anyone. Here are 13 reasons why.

Everything You Don’t Know About Tipping – Whenever you’re not sure what to tip someone, you risk ending up in the dreaded Ambiguous Tipping Situation. This post is here to help.

How to Pick Your Life Partner – Given that the choice of life partner is by far the most important thing in life to get right, how is it possible that so many good, smart, otherwise-logical people end up getting it so wrong?

Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think – We all care way too much what other people think of us. Here’s why it makes no sense.

The Great Perils of Social Interaction – It’s a tough world out there.

From Muhammad to ISIS: Iraq’s Full Story – If you’re not that clear on how Iraq, ISIS, or the conflicts within Islam came to be the way they are, this post will help.

Your Life in Weeks – Seeing all the weeks of your life in one chart is a weird experience.

10 Odd Friendships You’re Probably Part Of – When you’re young, you make friends kind of by accident. Then they stick. That’s why you’re now part of these 10 odd friendships.

Your Family: Past, Present, and Future – The past, present, and future of your family tree are all more fascinating than you realize.

A Religion for the Nonreligious – A post that tied together a bunch of the ideas we’ve discussed on the site.

___________

And here are 2013’s Top Ten:

Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy
Why Procrastinators Procrastinate
Putting Time in Perspective
7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook
How to Name a Baby
20 Things I Learned in North Korea
10 Types of Single 30-Year-Old Guys
Creepy Kids in Creepy Vintage Ads
11 Awkward Things About Email
Life is a Picture, But You Live in a Pixel

Footnotes

Extra information

Citations & Sources