Following original work by Nic at 2000 Nickels (a fellow Octopress user, I notice), here’s another effort to answer the vital question of the moment about Hypercritical, namely whether John Siracusa’s effort to control his logorrhea has met with any success.
The lines (they are loess lines) show the trend in the length of Hypercritical shows. The upper panel shows the overall trend. The lower panel splits the line into before (red) and after (green) segments, divided by John’s announcement—represented by the vertical black line—that he was going to try to make the shows shorter. I think we see that his effort had some success in stemming the rise in show length that began to take hold around episode 30 or so—though not immediately. Had trends continued, 5by5 would have quickly become a single, never-ending Hypercritical episode. Things have flattened out a little, but there’s a lot of variance: three of the four longest episodes have come since the effort to shorten shows allegedly began.