Books That Make You Dumb

Book­sThat­MakeY­ouDumb is a little ‘stat­ist­ic­al’ graph on how aver­age SAT scores cor­rel­ate with what books people read. Accept­ing it’s unscien­ti­fic­ness Vir­gil (the cre­at­or) lists the most not­able things about the data:

  • Harry Pot­ter is the most pop­u­lar book. The Bible is the second most pop­u­lar book. At least among col­lege stu­dents, Harry Pot­ter is, like the Beatles, indeed big­ger than Jesus. Harry Pot­ter still wins even if you add “The Bible” and “The Holy Bible” togeth­er.
  • The smartest reli­gious book is “The Book of Mor­mon”. The dumbest reli­gious book is “The Holy Bible”. I’m sure this pleases the Mor­mons immensely.
  • The dumbest philo­sophy book is “The Five People You Meet In Heav­en” and the smartest philo­sophy book is “Atlas Shrugged”.
  • “Lol­ita” is the smartest book.
  • The top/bottom 20 books are remark­ably stable. I tried 5 dif­fer­ent weight­ing algorithms and their only vari­ation was in the middle. The dumbest books were always at the bot­tom, and the smartest books were always on top. This is even fur­ther cor­rob­or­ated by the fact that the extremes change remark­ably little with increas­ing m.
  • This is slightly spe­cious, but if you wanted to you could con­sider “I Don’t Read” as a con­trol vari­able. Thus, if “I Don’t Read” is smarter than 13 books, then you’d think these bot­tom thir­teen books could in fact, make you dumber than not read­ing at all.

Also worth a browse is the not-so-impress­ive MusicThat­MakesY­ouDumb and the beau­ti­fully addict­ive WikiScan­ner.

1 thought on “Books That Make You Dumb

  1. Andrew Ator

    This isn’t to con­grat­u­late you on any­thing because it’s a proven fact with­in the pub­lish­ing industry that men don’t read. I’m just a fan of the word Infogasm. I trust you don’t hold the pat­ent?

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