Highly Experienced Philosophers?

Does anyone know of any philosopher or intellectual with 10% or more of the amount of practice I have? I’m thinking primarily of objective, measurable metrics like words written, length of discussions (in words) participated in, or number of different people discussed with. Like who has as much debate experience as me or even a tenth as much? Who writes as much as me or even a tenth as much? And also works on philosophical topics like rationality?

For an example of scale, my FI and BoI email lists had around 110,000 pages of discussion between them (I’ve done estimates before and believe I wrote very approximately a third of the posts). When I was new, I averaged writing around 10 discussion emails per day for my first 10 years doing philosophy (in addition to many, many lengthy IRC and IM discussions, and using some web forums and blog comment sections), and that first decade was mostly on older email lists, not FI or BoI. My latest blog post, just on curi.us, is number 2568, all the posts total around 1,670,438 words[1], and there are over 20,000 comments (containing over 2.5 million words). My FI and BoI emails might be 3 million words[2].

Modern computers, keyboards and the internet have enabled me to get much higher numbers than past thinkers. They provide a huge advantage over people as recent as Karl Popper (who died in 1994). They’re really useful tools that should enable philosophy (and many other fields) to make faster progress than in the past. It’s only among living thinkers (or maybe very recently dead) where I’d expect to find anyone exceeding 10% of my experience.

Related: I’ve written a lot about the importance of practice, how and why it works (e.g. connections with the subconscious), etc. And I’ve had a lot of people try to learn stuff from me. But most of them have barely written anything compared to me. Some people lurk for years without talking at all, while others might write a few dozen forum posts in a few months. I wouldn’t be very good at philosophy if I hadn’t written a ton; I needed the practice; I think ~everyone else needs a lot of practice too.

  1. c = 0; Post.find_each {|p| c += p.body.scan(/[[:alpha:]]+/).count }; c

    As a comparison, The Goal by Eli Goldratt (which is longer than an average book) is under 140,000 words, so curi.us is over 10 books in length. ↩︎

  2. Assume I wrote 30,000 of the pages. With books, I typically use 3 pages = 1000 words as a rough estimate (there’s significant variance). So that’s 10 million words. Then I divided by 3 and rounded down to account for all the quoting on email lists. ↩︎