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Almost no correlation between popularity and quality of books

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posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 04:18 PM
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A study had found a negligible correlation ( r = 0.022, r^2 = 0.0005 ) between popularity and quality ratings of books. In the first version of the paper they even pretended not to notice this and wrote that the correlation is high. In the final version they had to acknowledge it but hid the scandalous result in supplemental information.

pubpeer.com...

For those not familiar with statistics correlation coefficient varies between 0 and 1. When it equals 0 two things are entirely independent. When it equals 1 it's like the two things are identical. The measured value r = 0.022 means that popularity and quality of books are almost independent.
edit on 21-11-2020 by vernichter because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 04:23 PM
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a reply to: vernichter

I ghostwrite, edit, and pitch story ideas for formulaic paperbacks, and I can 100% confirm that this is true. 😂



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 05:14 PM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

Would be very interesting if you could share some revealing stories.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 05:23 PM
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Of course not. "Literary" books don't sell. No one wants to slog through Moby Dick or James Joyce's Ulysses. They are ponderous, largely esoteric, and boring to most people. You get forced to read them in school, not because you want to. It also begs the question of just who are labeling these books "literary" and for what purposes? Your average reader has no intention of "learning life's lessons" from books. He just wants to be entertained, and for that purpose Jack Reacher will do just fine. I spent my entire career in libraries and have heard endless debates over whether our "acquisitions policy" ought to favor what people want or what we elitist librarians thought they ought to have in order to be considered educated. I can tell you what the taxpayers who paid the bills wanted. Easy answer. But be careful before you pass judgment. Alex Haley's "Roots," surely a literary masterpiece, was a lot more popular than Billy Graham's "Angels; God's secret agents." And when you get right down to it, non-fiction far outsells fiction anyway.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 05:40 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

It looks you made some assumptions about the quality rating used in the study, but did not actually read the article.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: schuyler
If I have to choose between James Joyce and 'Space Sluts' I'm going with the latter for entertainment quality.




posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

I beg to differ.

No teacher forced me to read Moby Dick. Or Ulysses! I read them because I wanted to learn something about the world around me from another perspective.

Keeping my brain occupied with thoughts and “literary devices” is like taking an engine apart, or computer programming, or photography, is others; a goal in and of self. The reward is a broader horizon, sympathy and empathy, wit, and a great condescending method to blow people away with when they judge a book by its cover!

That is when you become “literary” and seek more of the same. You end up with Harold Bloom and realizing that you already have read 40 of his 100 greatest books of all time (I am now more like 75, after getting a degree in literature).

Don’t get me wrong. Good old entertainment has its place but so does a good deep read!

I am glad to hear that there is a scale out there that can remove the “passion argument” (ever PO a Stephan King fan??) about literary merit!

I will have a deep read on the OP scale and put my mathematics minor to work along with my literature degree.

I just had to point out a different point of view.




posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 06:47 PM
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a reply to: TEOTWAWKIAIFF

a reply to: Homefree

All this has little to do with the study in question. They used the average reader rating of books on goodreads.com.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 07:19 PM
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A good story is a good story even if it's a literary one.

Literature is just a little more wordy and chewy on its way to the story is all.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 07:38 PM
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originally posted by: vernichter
a reply to: schuyler

It looks you made some assumptions about the quality rating used in the study, but did not actually read the article.


THere's nothing special about them, just people "judging" the "quality" of books based on whether they like the or not.


originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
a reply to: schuyler

I beg to differ.

No teacher forced me to read Moby Dick. Or Ulysses! I read them because I wanted to learn something about the world around me from another perspective.


Good for you. A degree in literature? Plus a math minor? Wow! Aren't you special! We're all very proud.
edit on 11/21/2020 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 08:17 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
THere's nothing special about them, just people "judging" the "quality" of books based on whether they like the or not.

Similar to the scientists who do not read the papers they cite forum members do not read the posts they comment on.



posted on Nov, 21 2020 @ 10:03 PM
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My friend, in modern American culture, there is "Almost no correlation between popularity and quality of" anything.

So many would rather eat at McDonald's that senior a healthy home cooked meal.

So many would rather listen to crap like what's-her-name's WAP than a rotating piece of classical music.

Have you seen what passes for humor and what they call comedians today?

Yep, it ain't just books. The culture is hosed. It is a culture that revels in mediocrity on a good day, wallows in crap on most.
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edit on 2020 11 21 by incoserv because: what's it to you?



posted on Nov, 22 2020 @ 09:37 AM
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a reply to: incoserv

People don't take time over things like they used to and all too many never really learn how to read.

Back in the olden days, the one tool many had to use to teach reading was their Bible, and I'm not pointing that out in order to push religion. Go and look at the text of your average King James. It is far, far more complex than what most kids cut their teeth on these days, but that's the sort of tool many had to learn with barely 100 years ago.

Learn on a King James, and a lot of what we call literature would seem like child's play to read.



posted on Nov, 22 2020 @ 05:55 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: incoserv
Learn on a King James, and a lot of what we call literature would seem like child's play to read.

If your read King James, modern literature will look not as child's play but something rather different.

From Orwell

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Here it is in modern English:

Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.



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