The 50 Shades of Grey Book Club

I think it would be a use­ful ra­tio­nal­ity ex­er­cise to take some­thing that mil­lions of peo­ple love, that you have con­tempt for, and sincerely try to ap­pre­ci­ate it. The pur­pose would be to get prac­tice imag­in­ing a differ­ent point of view, and to see whether you’re able to do so.

50 Shades of Grey might not be the best choice for this ex­er­cise. I haven’t read it. Maybe a bet­ter choice would be The da Vinci Code, NASCAR, or pro­fes­sional wrestling. But a book has a definite length that you have to get through to be al­lowed to say that you hon­estly tried.

The idea is to start a thread for peo­ple to dis­cuss 50 Shades, or some­thing else per­ceived as trashy, and try—not to find what you might like in it, but to get in­side some­one else’s head and imag­ine why they might like it. (Of course it could back­fire, and leave you less open-minded than be­fore, if you always con­clude that your con­tempt was sim­ply right in the first place.)

I think the biggest prob­lem is that if peo­ple suc­ceed at find­ing some­thing to ap­pre­ci­ate in it, they would feel ter­ribly em­bar­rassed to say so. So this can be done with al­ter­nate ac­counts.

Any­one in­ter­ested? What do you hold in con­tempt that you might be will­ing to take a closer look at?