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?