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On the Bulletpointization of Books. “A wide swath of the ruling class sees books as data-intake vehicles for optimizing knowledge rather than, you know, things to intellectually engage with.”

Discussion  6 comments

Phil Wells

My employer pays for a subscription to Blinkist and I keep the app on my phone because it never fails to put me to sleep at night.

Phil Wells

ALSO, about Blinkist. I want to see hard data on how many titles in Blinkist mention that the human brain is wired the way it is because early man had to be aware in case a sabretooth tiger was lurking in some nearby bushes. It comes up a lot. I'd guess that 30% of all the books summarized in there use that exact visual. Do actual sabretooth tigers come up in all the summarized books? Or is there just a summarizer working for Blinkist who is especially enamored with sabreteeth?

MacRae Linton

Ha! I have a friend who was using ChatGPT to generate marketing blogspam (ugh, I know) who said that she had to give really specific instructions to avoid it using a bunch of common metaphors (apparently nautical themes are a dead giveaway) so maybe Blinkist is falling into a similar trap?

Timely that this article comes up, "what is a book even" ends up being the central question in this delightful teardown of the new Musk bio:

Kristian B

On the point on engaging with books, one of the most productive reading experiences was trying to write down why exactly I hated a book. Having to articulate someone’s arguments fairly and write a proper critique is difficult, especially for a whole book! Very glad I did it, wish it wasn’t for a book that was so toxic.


it's no real surprise that books like les miserables aren't taken as exemplars today. it took me 400 pages to decide whether i was even enjoying it and another 200 or so to really get into the rythm of the book.

Mike Garrett

I'm a big fan of summarizing books that could have been an email.

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