Jabber-Jibber

Written to an online friend.

Good luck with your endeavour to build your own vision.

I can hold onto that stick but there is not so much for me to get written today.
Regrettably this means I now lean towards pedagoguery. I have been writing this for an hour, maybe more, and before you begin down the rabbit hole of my writing and get lost in the warren of words, I ask if you agree with this statement.
The average rating (on Goodreads.com) should be 3-stars but is in fact higher.

Here’s a pet theory of mine I’ve been polishing for a length of time. If you can harness it in an algorithm or if it somehow gets you acclaim, good. I am seriously serious about it, and reckon more circulation should be good. Never yet met anyone in a position to demonstrate it as I believe it exists nor demonstrate the pattern I perceive fits into some already existing psychology theory. Maybe you will meet such a person at university. Perhaps it is just a mental Rube Goldberg machine. If the latter, I hope it entertains you.

The Goodreads thing is about a concept called by Wikipedia ‘Illusory Superiority‘. However, I like my way more & tell you my theory.

In Brief:
1. Belief alone changes reality (slightly).
2. Language requires belief to be meaningful.
3. Pleasure, like language, is learnt.
4. Avoidance of displeasure leads to a convergence of negative language (or other acts of belief).
5. Preference for pleasure leads to a divergence of positive language (or other acts of belief).

Therefor, the average rating on Goodreads will be above 3-stars. Comments with ratings beneath average will receive more votes than is reasonable to expect from the average rating of the book.
To dissuade me of this theory, I want you to argue for a different cause for negative comments reaching the “winner’s podium”, the top 3 comments. Alternatively you could sneer, leer and dismiss my statistical analysis as no more useful than counting sheep in my dreams and expecting to wake up to a bigger flock.

 

The Placebo Effect shows a power of belief. Ever so slight a mental attitude produces ever so minor an alteration to our physical world. A patient-held belief that red (or yellow or green or blue) is the best colour for medicine, improves the effectiveness of medicine coloured to match belief. The first Google article returned from, ‘believe round white pills are healthier and they are more effective placebo‘ by Google Australia, briefly outlines the effect of colour on tranquiliser-drugs. (I have not heard a satisfactory definition of drugs in my entire life.)

I iterate this, you may not share it.
Language is inherently meaningless. Did language emerge when an early hominid saw a tree and say ‘tree’ or ‘arbor’ or ‘pfab-gooey’? I say no! The meaning is created by the action of the human mind and has been in a state of constant flux since the original trigger. Would human belief be an apt description of this mental action? I say yes!

Belief triggered by any linguistic effort produces ever so slight a change in the real existence of the person doing the believing / speaking. To feel good, I may mutter to myself “F.I.G.J.A.M.” (acronym: Fuck I’m Good Just Ask Me) and not even bother imagining an answer to the question. This will produce a real change in my body, I feel a tingle down my legs right now and I’m sure there is a neuro-chemical responsible (spell-check insists I meant to write ‘petrochemical’, lol talk about the imperialism of capitalism penetrating the profane, lol).

Recap: belief alone can make (small) change, language requires belief, therefor language alone can make the same (small) change.

Combine this attitude, belief with something said by Mr. Zizek (not a quote), “All pleasures are learnt. Even sex I claim.”
Goodreads users want more pleasure. So they make an effort to say their reading is better than, statistically speaking, it should be. They come online the website and make ever so slight an effort of belief. Maybe, “This book deserves 4-stars.” & click the 4th star or they write a review. This genuinely improves their reading experience, but only slightly.

Not all the reading done is happy, fun and fulfilling. Sometimes it is boring, tedious or not-good. Assuming a balance is expected by the Goodreads users, or is an automatic / natural pattern, there is an emotional backlash expected.

To produce this balance and satisfy some demand for equilibrium Goodreads users vote for negative reviews. But the negativity they vote for never corrects the balance and brings the average rating down to 3-stars.

Perhaps this is the Objet Petite a of Lacanian theory. Perhaps not. If you would send me a few words about your perception of Objet Petite a I would be grateful.

So the gist of it so far,
Belief makes change. Language requires belief. Pleasure is learnt. Avoidance of displeasure leads to a convergence of negative. Preference for pleasure leads to a divergence of positive.
I assume Mr. Zizek means this pattern in aggregate when he says ‘the economy of pleasure’.

I, (without ability to relate my predictions to a theory any more clearly than the above) I predict that the Goodreads above-average rating will occur in tandem with a dominant negative review in the top 3 comments. I expect to find the average rating of the top 3 comments to be less than the total average rating.

To dissuade me of this theory, I want you to argue for a different cause for negative comments reaching the “winner’s podium”, the top 3 comments. Alternatively you could sneer, leer and dismiss my statistical analysis as no more useful than counting sheep in my dreams and expecting to wake up to a bigger flock.

I now venture into the virtual world to test my theory. I select 3 from the recommendations list and three from the list of top rated books.

BOOKS SELECTED FROM RECOMMENDATIONS.
Bridge of Birds (The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox #1)
Average rating 4.3-stars.
Averaged rating of the top 3 comments, 4-stars.
SUPPORT FOR MY THEORY.

The Night Club: Part One (Noční klub #1)
Average rating 4.49-stars.
Averaged rating of the top 3 comments, 4.6-stars.
MY THEORY IS DENIED.

Jules Verne Seven Novels
Average rating 4.33-stars.
Averaged rating of the top 3 comments, 4.6-stars.
MY THEORY IS DENIED.

BOOKS SELECTED FROM LIST OF TOP RATED.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7)
Average rating, 4.61-stars.
Averaged rating of top 3 comments, 3.6-stars.
SUPPORT FOR MY THEORY.

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3)
Average rating, 4.54-stars.
Averaged rating of top 3 comments, 5-stars.
MY THEORY IS DENIED.

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
Average rating, 4.72-stars.
Averaged rating of top 3 comments, 4-stars.
SUPPORT FOR MY THEORY.

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