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books

Page history last edited by Mike 11 years, 4 months ago

"What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books."

  • Thomas Carlyle

Ideas

 

We should allow users suggest books as reasons to agree or disagree with an idea. Now start thinking ahead what an algorithm could do, if someone says that a book agrees with their beliefs. Data is readily available from Amazon or E-bay or the New York Times best selling list of how well a book has sold.

 

So there would be three fields. One place where you submit the item that agrees or disagrees with the original idea. The second field would let you classify the object. Is it a book, awebsite, or simply a logical argument. The third field would be a place where the user explains why he thinks the book supports the conclusion that he/she has come to. Of course, people would be allowed to vote weather or not the book actually does support the side that the original user said that it would.

 

This is where the algorithm could get very sophisticated. Would you want to give more credibility to those who said they had actually read the book? Would you want to give even more credibility to those who had bought the book, as more proof that they actually read the book. Or how about people that used the website mediachest and could prove that they have the book, by the fact that they have let others use the book. What about people who wrote an essay on the book on the website. If Google was doing this, they could provide a place for users to write essays on books, similar to how Amazon lets users write essays. Perhaps they could not let people copy and paste essays into the form. It would only allow people to type their essays directly, to prevent stealing of essays. Perhaps people could vote on weather the book-essays were good or not similar to how Amazon lets users rate reviews, as to weather the review was "helpful" or not.

 

So, as an example, you could submit a best selling book as a reason to agree with an idea, and then right a thoroughly convincing explanation of why this book agrees with the idea, and an essay that proves that you understand the main points of the book.

 

If Google really wants to organize the worlds information, they must do this. We have plenty of books, we have plenty of content on the internet. We need ways of organizing this information into what it all means, and how all this information should affect us. The only good way information can affect us, is for it to help us make better decisions. In order for us to make better decisions, we must know all of the reasons to agree or disagree with a particular course of action. In order to do this, we should not start at ground zero, with only our own thoughts in our head. We should bring together all of the great thinkers from the ages from every corner of the planet, and organize all of their great thoughts, so that we can make the right decisions.

 

As you can see, this algorithm could be very simple, but it could also offer programmers hundreds of years of challenges to make it more sophisticated. I believe this is a strength of the idea, because it allows for continual improvement.

 

Examples

 

Books that agree that schools need to be reformed.

  1. De-schooling Society, by Ivan Illitch

 

Mitt Romney and Books

 

Mitt Romney was a valedictorian English Major, and so books are probably pretty important to him.

 


Advice and Debate (get the password to join the debate)

  1. Romney should release all his book reports.
  2. Romney showed that he is deficient when he said that he liked Battlefield Earth.
  3. Romney is the best read of the 2008 candidates.

Romney's Books

 

These are books that Romney has made Reference to in interviews, on his YouTube, and MySpace page.

 

  1. Romney's favorite book, according to nightline, Huckleberry Finn
  2. The Cube and the Cathedral by George Weigel
  3. The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright
  4. America Alone by Mark Steyn
  5. The Places in Between by Rory Stewart
  6. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
  7. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David S. Landes 
    1. But number five, the culture of America is under attack. Now some people say wait, when you talk about culture, Governor, that's not of the same order of magnitude as the things you just mentioned: jihadists and the emergence of Asia, spending too much money, using too much oil. And I disagree. There was a book written some years ago by a fellow named David Landis; he's a Harvard professor. The book was given to me. It's called The Wealth and Poverty of Nations. The jacket cover included an endorsement by John Kenneth Galbraith. I said, oh boy, this is going to be some liberal diatribe. I read through it and found it pretty scholarly. And after about 500 pages, he concludes with roughly these words: If anything can be learned from the history of economic development in the world, it is this--culture makes all the difference.
  8. ?
    1. The sea change applies to our military as well. At one time, we were content with the idea that the military was responsible for winning wars. Increasingly, we find ourselves responsible not only for winning the war, but also for keeping the peace. We play, increasingly, peacekeeping roles; how we prepare for those and train for those is something which Jim and Paul in their book have spent some time talking about.
      1. Heritage Lecture #904
  9. The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman
    1. Amazingly, these rankings don’t even include the countries that are our real competition. India and China, in the words of Tom Friedman’s latest book, just brought three billion more people onto the playing field.
      1. U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce Hearing on "High School Reform: Examining State and Local Efforts"
  10. Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris
    1. Well, I happen to believe that one of the most important things a president of the United States does is set a culture of integrity, character, vision, patriotism, that the values that a president is known for and lives by live on well beyond some of his or her policies -- I guess all his, at this point. His policies. And, you know, I will go back -- and read a couple of books about Teddy Roosevelt last year, ”Theodore Rex” and ”The Rise of Teddy Roosevelt,” I looked at some of his policies and said, gosh, I have exactly the opposite view today. The Republic Party has a different view then it did back in 1900.
      1. C-Span Transcript, BRIAN LAMB, HOST
  1. The Rise of Teddy Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
    1. Well, I happen to believe that one of the most important things a president of the United States does is set a culture of integrity, character, vision, patriotism, that the values that a president is known for and lives by live on well beyond some of his or her policies -- I guess all his, at this point. His policies. And, you know, I will go back -- and read a couple of books about Teddy Roosevelt last year, ”Theodore Rex” and ”The Rise of Teddy Roosevelt,” I looked at some of his policies and said, gosh, I have exactly the opposite view today. The Republic Party has a different view then it did back in 1900.
      1. C-Span Transcript, BRIAN LAMB, HOST
  2. American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us, by Steven Emerson
  3. Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America by Walid Phares
  4. China, Inc., by Ted C. Fishman
  5. Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, by Alfred Lansing

 


Hillary's books

 

In going through the index of Living History, the books Hillary references in her autobiography are...

 

  • Night- Elie Wiesel
  • The Return of the Prodigal Son- Henri Nouwen
  • Composing A Life- Mary Catherine Bateson
  • Wild Swans-Jung Chang

More Romney books

 

Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

What It Takes – Richard Ben Cramer

Theodore Rex – Edmund Morris

The World Is Flat – Thomas Friedman

1776 – David McCullough

The Battle For Peace –Tony Zinni and Tony Koltz

The Business Of Winning – Robert Evangelista

Future Jihad – Walid Phares

The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren

The West’s Last Chance – Tony Blankley

Mastering The Rockefeller Habits – Verne Harrish

The Four Obsessions Of An Extraordinary Executive – Patrick Lencioni

 

 

 

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