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Silas comments on Fake Justification - Less Wrong

40 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 01 November 2007 03:57AM

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Comment author: Silas 01 November 2007 01:19:52PM -2 points [-]

Eliezer_Yudkowsky: Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter *are not* superior literature to the Bible. Remember, literary superiority means "whatever an elite community of academics decides is superior", so there's no inconsistency, just circularity.

It's true that art's greatness *should* be determined by such double blind tests; otherwise, it's just an inbred, self-congratulatory game. Very few tests of this sort have been performed, and canonical works always fail. Maybe five people noticed Joshua_Bell's extreme greatness, and several of them were already tainted by advance praise of his work. And then in the case of that woman who submitted Jane_Austen's work, publishers either recongized it, or reasoned it wouldn't sell, even though her work, of course, does sell.

Admiring Shakespeare also seems to better correlate with "trying to activate the applause lights" than actual admiration. How do people's use of their own time on Shakespeare compare to e.g. the Halo series?