January 28th, 2008

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Books That Make You Dumb

http://booksthatmakeyoudumb.virgil.gr/

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.