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Official Poll - 2nd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL! 
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Post Re: Olives, Gods, and Smarties
I'll edit that first post soon and also make sure all future polls are worded properly. I guess what I am trying to say is something like...

Please do not cast a vote if you do not plan on reading and discussing your book should it win the poll, AND please heavily consider participating in the reading and discussion of ANY book that wins the poll. Even if your personal choice in books doesn't win you still stand to gain a great deal by getting involved in our discussions.

If you can think of a way to word that even better please do! ::44




Sun Mar 12, 2006 8:36 pm
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Post Re: Olives, Gods, and Smarties
I'd go with KISS and just use the first sentence


If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything. Daniel Dennett, 1984




Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:13 am
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Post Re: Olives, Gods, and Smarties
tarav: While I understand your sentiment, I'm not sure I understand your method of getting it across. All three choices do not involve religion(only one does).

No, I recognize that. The reason for my last post was that the one about religion is the one that is currently winning.

I've abstained from voting not because I think the other two books are about religion but because none of the three books in this poll interest me. I could vote for one of the other books to make a point, but it wouldn't make me any more interested in those books. So it's more congenial of me to just let you guys have it your way for a quarter. Maybe you'll make the discussion interesting enough for me to hazard actually reading your choice.

There's really two objections being made here: one is that I think there were much better suggestions made in the original thread, and I'm disappointed that these three books were chosen instead; the other is that the "faith" book is getting more votes, despite the fact that that topic haven't been provoking very interesting conversations. It seems like people tend to vote for a book when they want to see a topic championed, rather than voting for books they actually plan on reading and discussing.

Chris OConnor: But I do understand if somone like Mad opts out of the discussion of a book bashing religious belief.

I'm not objecting to that. Hell, I voted for the last book -- the fact that so many people voted for it but so few have actually participated in the discussion is one of the big reasons I'm suspicious of the number of votes that "The End of Faith" has gotten so far. I'm objecting to boredom.

Even if he says he won't read a certain book, I think he is such a prolific reader that he will get weak, buy the book, and participate.

I might check the book out if the discussion is interesting. Otherwise, I have a nice big stack of book that should tide me over until the next decade, so don't expect me to read it just to read it.

I think Mad should do his best to influence the choice of books around here.

I understand that. But I don't think it would be fair of me to try to influence this vote when I don't intend to read any of the books.




Mon Mar 13, 2006 6:56 pm
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Post Re: Olives, Gods, and Smarties
I must not have understood you in your original post. If you have no interest in any of the three books you certainly should NOT cast a vote. I thought you simply didn't want to read the End of Faith.




Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:49 pm
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Post Re: Olives, Gods, and Smarties
Of the three, that's probably the only one I would have some interest in reading. But I don't think it's a good pick for this crowd.




Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:06 pm
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Post Re: Olives, Gods, and Smarties
Quote:
But I don't think it's a good pick for this crowd.


Why?

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:03 pm
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Post Re: Olives, Gods, and Smarties
Suggestion

based on the current discussion, i have a suggestion for reframing the bood discussions within booktalk. relatively new status here will not reflect upon the weight given to my opinion as i think it a good suggestion whether i was participating or not:

seperate non-fiction discussion into two discussion groups: one for general non-religiously oriented non-fiction and the other discussion thread strictly dealing with topics of religious/atheistic nature. thus, we can continue to offer thought provoking titles for discussion without alienating those in the group that want to pursue topics of a religious/atheistic nature.

i know there is discussion about the speed at which booktalk is growing and having the right amount of discussions and readings per the amount of active members and participants. obviously that will be a factor. but this may actually increase the amount of participants if there is a reliable and dependable discussion group that is absent of heated philosophical debate about topics that may ultimately be pointless any way (e.g. our thoughts in regards to religion really don't add up to much in the end, we are either completely wrong or completely right and can only convince others and reshape our own opinions. but lots of non-fiction titles can lead to changes in our behaviors and inspire us to get involved and actually doing something. knowledge without action is mental masturbation).

so i would propose 1) fiction discussion 2) non-fiction discussion (faith topics off limits) 3) athiestic/religious/spiritual discussion. i think the pros out weigh the possible cons. and my personal belief is more people would participate if more titles were discussed more often. perhaps break up the quarters a bit (book 1 begins in april for fiction, book 2 for non-fiction in may, then book 3 for religious/spiritual/athiestic in may, etc.).

the points on both sides have merit. a third way solution seems obvious to me instead of keeping the situation in an either/or scenerio.

EDIT: here is another thought that could persude me to change my vote. the books losing the vote can always form alternative thread discussion within the "additional book discussions" catagory. if everyone voting for harris' end of faith are interested in persuing it as an unofficial title, i think friedman or the multiple intelligences would indeed bring more people into the discussion, lead to better discussions, lead to less aggitation and hot headed posts, and be better at increasing knowledge.

also, in regards to the voting system, perhaps we should run the vote based on the IRV (instant run off voting) method so everyone ranks their preferences instead of alloting a certain number of votes. the winning vote getter would require a 50% majority of the vote to win. if 50% was not achieved, a run off would determine the winner based on second choice votes. this would increase participation because people could influence the voting process based on their second preference, thus a more uninimous concensus can be reached. if you prefer not to rank second and third choices, that is allowed under the system. but it is preferred you do so you can influence a second choice.

more info on IRV if you are curious:

www.fairvote.org/irv/
www.instantrunoff.com/
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ins...off_voting
www.chrisgates.net/irv/

Edited by: riverc0il at: 3/15/06 6:30 pm



Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:20 pm
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Post Re: Olives, Gods, and Smarties
riverc0il

Good suggestions. Let's discuss this further over the next quarter and see if we all think some sort of change would be beneficial to the community. :)




Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:33 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 2nd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
The End of Faith is the clear winner in our nonfiction poll. Please consider ordering your book right away and doing so through this Amazon.com link. BookTalk is paid a small referral fee for each book order and we really could use the help. Thanks.




Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:37 pm
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