Booksthatmakeyoudumb

Of course it’s not scientific, but it’s fun. Virgil Griffith:

Ever read a book (required or otherwise) and upon finishing it thought to yourself, “Wow. That was terrible. I totally feel dumber after reading that.”? I know I have. Well, like any good scientist, I decided to see how well my personal experience matches reality. How might one do this?

Well, here’s one idea.

  1. Get a friend of yours to download, using Facebook, the ten most popular books at every college (manually — as not to violate Facebook’s ToS). These ten books are indicative of the overall intellectual milieu of that college.
  2. Download the average SAT/ACT score for students attending every college.
  3. Presto! We have a correlation between books and dumbitude (smartitude too)!
    Books <=> Colleges <=> Average SAT Scores
  4. Plot the average SAT of each book, discarding books with too few samples to have a reliable average.
  5. Post the results on your website, pondering what the Internet will think of it.