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December 18th, 2006

Unsuggestor

Many of you will have seen this before, but I rather liked the Unsuggestor. It’s meant to be the opposite of the tool you see on Amazon and elsewhere that tells you which books are bought by people who bought a particular book. This tells you which pairs of books are not jointly owned. By the Amazon logic, if you like one, you’ll hate the other.

They have a list of books that don’t go well together on the side of the page. The top one is Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic. The third is Augustine’s Confessions and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Night Pleasures. Here are some other pairings.

Austin, How to Do Things With Words – E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web
Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy – Janet Evanovich, Two for the dough
Ryle, The Concept of Mind – David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day
Russell, History of Western Philosophy – Emma McLaughlin, The Nanny Diaries

Feel free to add more in comments!

Posted by Brian Weatherson in Uncategorized

4 Comments »

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4 Responses to “Unsuggestor”

  1. Gillian Russell says:

    Reiki The Ultimate Guide Learn Sacred Symbols & Attunements plus Reiki Secrets You Should Know – Steve Murray/Objective Knowledge – Karl Popper

    Formal Semantics – Portner Partee/Finnegan\\‘s Wake – James Joyce

    Anarchy, State and Utopia – Nozick/Gormenghast – Mervyn Peake

    The Science of Pocket Billiards Jack H. Koehler/Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding – David Hume

    Animal liberation – Peter Singer/The Barbecue Bible – Seven Raichlen

  2. Aidan McGlynn says:

    Wittgenstein – Philosophical Investigations/Lauren Weisberger – The Devil Wears Prada

    Actually, some of Amazon’s recommendations can be quite fun. My favourite so far:

    “We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased The Limits of Abstraction by Kit Fine have also ordered Miracles in Enlightenment England by Jane Shaw.”

  3. Matt Weiner says:

    I was playing around to see if I actually owned any of the unsuggested books and I came up with a hit on the sixth try or so:

    Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes — The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

    I felt so proud! And I like both these books too.

    (In fact if you look at the whole list I own a bunch of these books, have read or read parts of several others, and have taught quite a few. Unsuggester seems to be saying that philosophers shouldn’t read Marian Keyes which I find quite oppressive.)

  4. Matt Weiner says:

    BTW, Gillian, the Billiards one is brilliant.

    Freedom and Belief by Galen Strawson/The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren

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