> What you all - especially Bowerbird - want is some majority rating system
um, did you read my long message on a collaborative-filtering system?
a "majority rating system" is the _exact_opposite_ of what i'm talking about.
such a system ignores what "everyone else" thinks and finds the people whose
ratings profile highly correlates with yours, not matter how rare they might be.
it finds that guy in antarctica who is one of the 241 people in the world like you
on that one particular book. how else are you _ever_ going to find that guy?
> what I look for is a publisher (Farrar, Straus; Pantheon; the old New Directions)
> and a reviewer whose taste I trust and I use them as guides.
exactly. that's what the collaborative-filtering system does, except it does it
by analyzing _many_millions_ of ratings from other people, which means that
(a) it has a better chance of finding someone whose taste is like yours, and
(b) it does all the work for you so you can just sit back and glean its results.
so, better quality of results (including pointers to lots of material that you'd
never ever encounter otherwise), and with absolutely no work on your part.
tell me what's not to like about that?
and please don't think i'm trying to "convince" you. this system will emerge
whether you "agree" with me or not, and will prove itself to millions of people
with extremely specific ratings (within two-tenths of a point on a 1-10 scale)
that prove to be uncannily accurate in predicting our own reactions to content.
and, like any iterative process, when it _is_ wrong, that info will make it smarter.
the end result will be that tomorrow's people will spend _zero_ time _searching_
for high-quality content -- material that _they_ consider to be "high-quality",
even if very few other people in the world agree with them -- yet they will be
_inundated_ and _overwhelmed_ with it, with most of it being offered for free.
and in _that_ kind of world, publishers who put d.r.m. on their celebrity bios
and clones of last year's bestsellers, and charge high prices for that rubbish,
will be reduced to laughing-stock status. might as well be tower records...