Dont Judgea Book By Its Cover

But there are a lot of books. I gots to judge by the cover. Hell, I often judge by the spine, or even by which section of the bookstore the book is in.

The phrase, echoing in my mind, is "you can't judge a book by its cover", not "don't judge a book by its cover". You can judge a book any way you wants to, but the advice says that your judgment won't be consistently valid unless you look a little deeper.

Three things happen:

  1. You hear good things about a book
  2. The cover (or title, or table of contents) makes the book look like a stinker.
  3. You hear even more good things about the book including the advice "DontJudgeaBookByItsCover."
What do you do? You are free to ignore whatever advice you choose to ignore. But why not LearnFromOtherPeoplesMistakes?? Reading a book may seem like a big investment, but it's really not, especially if what you gain makes it worth the time. The worst that could happen: You were right and it was a stinker, and all the people who told you it was a good book were wrong. In principle this could happen. In practice, how often does it really? Even in this worst case, you've still learned something: Why the book is not a good book.

Moved from HowToWinFriendsAndInfluencePeople.

Only by looking at these titles, this looks like a book on how to influence whinies. If someone would try such techniques on me instead of CriticsAreYourBestFriends, he would fail by a HUGE margin.

Condescending is the most fallacious and despicable attitude and all these subtitles are about condescending attitude. It might be a good book for politicians , marketing departments and the likes. -- CostinCozianu

The principles in the book are not universally applicable, that much can be assumed. However, it would be a grave misjudgment to believe that they are applicable only for a small subset of society, the whiney weak people. It would be more accurate to say that they are not applicable to people who are contrary, cynical, and socially disconnected.

I'm also curious what you think the word "condescending" means. The dictionary meaning doesn't match what you are describing here. Perhaps you meant some other word instead.

[ Costin, you really need to adjust your tone. Start by avoiding absolute statements like "all these subtitles", unless you can be 100% certain that all are as you say. A trivial example disproves your position: "Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view." How is that condescending? -- AnonymousDonor ]

Ok, NOT all the subtitles, but the majority of them. For condescending I only have one meaning:

And it would be a mistake on your part to suggest that a condescending attitude is rejected only by cynical, socially disconnected people. I have no clue what that kind of people think, but probably they'd be also refusing such attitude. But any people at all that are able to stand up on their feet will refuse a condescending attitude.

These techniques are also counterproductive in coaching someone for a performance oriented domain.

-- CostinCozianu

And it would be a mistake on your part to suggest that a condescending attitude is rejected only by "cynical, socially disconnected people"

You are so right, it would be a mistake to do that. Good thing that I didn't then, isn't it. For starters, I'm not calling the principles condescending, and secondly I'm not restricting the set of rejecting people by use of the word only. Feh -- talk about misrepresenting a position, and this from someone that objects so noisily about others being "intellectually dishonest"!

You are right though when you say, paraphrasing "any people that are able to stand up for themselves will refuse a condescending attitude." All you have to do then is show that the above subtitles are representative of a condescending attitude, which you haven't. [A good way to do this would be to read the book and pull out condescending quotes from it ... assuming there are any at all, or at least enough of them to make a case of it] -- most of the definitions involve the condescending person lowering themselves from a superior rank to deal with an inferior, while interestingly the book details most commonly the reverse situation, or an equal situation. For example, how a salesperson convinces a CEO, or two powerful men coming to a mutually beneficial agreement. It's not until the final quarter does it deal with situations of rank which would imply condescension. -- AnonymousDonor

"'cynical, socially disconnected people'' -- I have no clue what that kind of people think" I think you know more than you let on, or at least are aware of <smirk>

A good way to do this would be to read the book and pull out condescending quotes from it ... assuming there are any at all, or at least enough of them to make a case of it

I'm not going to do that, for no other reason than lack of time. Choosing which books to read is a very tough art. I described my empirical algorithm in BookTestUnit, probably this book would have failed even if it might be a very good book. At least the author have chosen not so good titles for the chapters.

And discussing of the titles and nothing else, this book seems to discuss social skills, and especially the ones needed in business and politics. They are fine, and I would be hypocritical to say that I haven't used such skills to my own interests. Some people really do expect to be treated according to the above rules, so why would I bother them as I sometimes do to my friends ?

However I make the distinction between social connections and friends. In my culture the saying goes you'll know a friend when you need one, and I doubt that the persons that you can win using the skills suggested by the titles can really qualify as friends. A friend should be able at a minimum to accept my critics and be able to CriticizeBluntly on my person.

The above techniques were used on me by sales people at the auto dealerships when I was looking to buy a car. You can't blame me that they didn't succeed :) -- CostinCozianu

So you're JudgingaBookByItsCover?, with no intention of reading it - why didn't you say so in the first place? Perhaps you could reserve judgment on its contents until then. One must wonder what other subjects you've professed a knowledgeable opinion based on nothing more than supposition.

I can decide whether to buy a book or not by its table of contents (not by its cover) because reading a book is a heavy investment these days. I commented on the titles because somebody proposed it as an alternative to CriticizeBluntly. I used looks like and might actually be a very good book, but the titles are not appealing to me. Just disregard my opinion on the quality of the book. However, usually the titles reflect the author's intention and for me is unacceptable that my friends will never just say you're wrong or will never criticize me. See CriticsAreYourBestFriends.

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