July 2, 2006

forgot to mention...

What I forgot to mention before, is that LibraryThing is "social" in nature. Once you've entered some books, you can find out who has a similar library, and look at their collection. Currently this guy, oakesspalding, has the most books in common with us. He writes:

...Against my better judgment, I have started rating nonfiction books. My central criterion is to what degree the work accomplishes what it should, given the sort of book that it is. So, for example, Inside Hitler’s Bunker will presumably never be counted among the great works of Western Civilization, but in its way it is an almost perfect work of journalism and military history, hence the five star rating. Subsidiary criteria include 1) accuracy, 2) honesty--the thesis of a work may be false but honest in the sense that the author did the best he could given the evidence available to him, 3) rationality, 4) clarity, 5) information content--the more the better, 6) novelty, 7) good writing--yes, even in nonfiction, this counts, and finally 8) basic goodness, or the lack thereof--thus, Plato’s Republic, the Koran and The Communist Manifesto, for example, all receive only one star due to the wickedness of their respective theses, the bad intentions of their authors and the pernicious effect these works have had on mankind. However, an educated person should certainly read all three to better understand the nature of their harmful arguments and assumptions...

Gotta like somebody who still uses the word "wickedness." Amen, brother.

Posted by John Weidner at July 2, 2006 7:38 AM
Weblog by John Weidner