Do you ever review books on Amazon? There I think the standard 5/5 is “thoroughly enjoyed, would recommend”. 4/5 has reservations.
Ratings are deeply flawed in a bunch of ways though. For example, if you read a book when you’re young, then come back to it when you have more life experience, your feeling of it can change greatly.
I’ve had this happen to me this year as I’ve reread books I had tagged as “Top Favorites”. I’m not going to take them off the list, per se, but I have moved some to “Past Top Favorites”.
Similarly, if you watch a movie in 2000 vs. 2014, the quality of movies near it affects your overall feeling and rating to an extent that’s hard to account for.
There’s no real non-mathematical solution to this. However, with data mining on Amazon purchases and Goodreads ratings, an algorithm could come up with recommended books and tailor ratings directly for your interests.
At the same time, this might create an insular bubble that keeps you in the same mindset, without exploring things as much as you otherwise might. Given enough people, though, a percentage would still explore the periphery and so bring diversity to the group.
Another aspect is that the belief in “well-rounded” individuals is also fundamentally flawed. It’s impossible to understand the general trends of humankind, because they advance in unpredictable ways.
Instead, we should see ourselves as components of a global Mindweb, weaving all our experiences into a rich, evolving fabric.
As more mathematical systems are developed to organize the Mindweb, the problems we see facing individuals fall away because groups can be organized much more effectively. For example, the best ways to organize governments can be discovered using science, rather than historical accidents.
We combine our disparate knowledge and experience sets and organize them in ways that help the human superorganism.