Questions About Things Which I'm Vaguely Curious About

Posted on January 18, 2014 by richardgoulter
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Oh. If I enjoy a book, then I’ll enjoy the book and that’s fine.

But it’d be good to have a proper view of the wider context, to see where my opinion lies.

I dunno who the recognized authorities are, or if I should trust those.
But I wonder if there’s not a bit too much of some kind of selection bias; those that do well continue to be acknowledged as well beyond what they might otherwise deserve independent of history. (Blah. Abstract. I mean. I do rather doubt that J.K. Rowling’s later Harry Potter books would be as popular if not for the reputation of the previous books. But we’d have to ignore that the books were in a series to consider that, I suppose).

So I wonder how much ‘momentum’ or ‘inertia’ there is about popularity of these authors and their books? The physics of the popularity of authors, eh.
Perhaps things like this are questions for the behavioral economists, or whatever folk like Dan Ariely are.

I wonder, though, if questions like this could instead be answered by looking at data.
Lots of data. Like GoodReads.
I wonder what information one would be able to .. objectively(?) .. derive from the information.
Trends of readers/reviewers. (Always high? Always low?).
Issit that the rich get richer? Would there be a way to normalize or de-noise or remove that bias in review scores? (Though I don’t suppose it’d be all too meaningful in general to do that?).

Then again: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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