New York, NY (PRWEB) July 21, 2008
"What is your favorite book of all time?" The Bible? "Gone With The Wind"? Harris Interactive found these two books to be ranked numbers 1 and 2 as America's favorite books through a recent survey conducted over the Internet. When The Disinformation Company heard about this, whose publishing program caters towards the more alternative and controversial, they took the question straight to their readers with a blog on the popular social networking site MySpace.
"The response was overwhelming," says Disinformation's managing editor, Ralph Bernardo, who maintains a company MySpace page of over 114,000 "friends." The blog turned into an unexpected response survey to the Harris poll, receiving over 1,000 comments, and was the subject of Editor-in-Chief Sara Nelson's recent editorial in the trade publication of record for the book business, "Publishers Weekly."
In "Read My Lists" (Publishers Weekly, 7/14/2008) Nelson found it interesting that Disinformation readers "favored backlist over books du jour" and "was skeptical and a little horrified … that such recent books-of-the moment as Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels and Demons' made the Harris poll."
Here are the results and analysis of The Disinformation Company's "Favorite Books" MySpace Survey from Disinformation Managing Editor Ralph Bernardo. The overall top ten from their MySpace audience, surveyed from 1,074 responses, was (see attachment: Disinformation Overall Top Ten)...
"Orwell's '1984' is the clear favorite among Disinformation readers, with over 1 in 10 of survey respondents including it in their top ten, and twice as popular as their next favorite, Douglas Adams's 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,'" reports Ralph Bernardo. "But from there on in, it was a horserace for the remaining spots in the overall top ten."
The Disinformation top ten list is not without some shared favorites from the Harris poll, "The Lord of The Rings" was a very close 4th place for Disinformation readers (3rd on Harris), and "Catcher in the Rye" came in at 7th place (10th on Harris).
Countercultural landmarks, like Hunter S. Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five," are favorite books among Disinformation readers, with numerous books by Thompson and Vonnegut cited as favorites among respondents. Other authors favored by Disinformation readers that didn't make the top ten with one book, whose favorite works were spread across five or more titles, included Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Albert Camus, Philip K. Dick, Jack Kerouac, and Chuck Palahniuk.
Since the overall top ten was overwhelmingly fiction, with nine out of ten titles, Bernardo created a top ten non-fiction list (see attachment: Disinformation Non-Fiction Top Ten)...
The non-fiction list is dominated by spiritual and philosophical works, with a notable joint appearance from Robert Anton Wilson, who was also on Disinformation's overall top ten with his cult classic, "The Illuminatus! Trilogy." Robert Anton Wilson (or RAW, as his fans call him) has been widely discussed on The Disinformation Company's website since it launched in 1996, and made a memorable appearance at the legendary Disinfo.con event held in New York City in 2000. In 2005, The Disinformation Company distributed a documentary about RAW's life and works titled Robert Anton Wilson: Maybe Logic.
Wilson, who died in 2007, was famous for saying that his goal was "to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone, but agnosticism about everything." Bernardo speculates that RAW would have been amused to find the number one book of all time according to Harris, the Bible, alongside two of his books on Disinformation's top ten non-fiction list. Wilson, famous for his comedic examination of American paranoia and conspiracies, might even suggest a bit of "disinformation" at work from a secret organization, or perhaps, a higher power.
Responding to questions of divine intervention in the Disinformation MySpace survey, Bernardo expressed that, "one can surely question whether the Bible is really 'non-fiction,' as many Disinformation readers already do. Considering that 'The God Delusion' and 'God Is Not Great' are in our non-fiction top ten, with a famous provocateur of Christianity -- Mr. 'God Is Dead' himself -- Friedrich Nietzsche, within the top five -- reaffirms my 'belief' that this is a shared sentiment among Disinformation readers."
Looking more closely into the non-fiction top ten, however, Bernardo contends that Disinformation is not solely a religion- and spirituality-bashing group in the vein of the "Un-Holy" Trinity of the bestselling critics of organized religion: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. "With the 'Tao Te Ching' at the top for our non-fiction list and placing in the overall top ten," Bernardo states that "Disinformation is a much more a skeptical audience, and arguably more well-read, than those surveyed in the Harris poll."
"Our goal as a publisher has always been to find those people that want to question the convention wisdom. And lately, there's been no shortage of things to have serious questions about," remarks Bernardo.
About the Disinformation Company
Launched on September 13, 1996, Disinformation (disinfo.com) was designed to be the search service of choice for individuals looking for information on current affairs, politics, new science and the "hidden information" that seldom seems to slip through the cracks of the corporate-owned media conglomerates. Ironically, it was funded by one of the largest media companies in the world (TeleCommunications, Inc. (TCI), now part of Comcast), who paid for placement on Netscape's then ubiquitous search page.
The site drew immediate attention and (usually) applause from the very same news media that it was criticizing as being under the influence of both government and big business, but the honeymoon was short. Some three weeks after launch the CEO of TCI learned of Disinformation and immediately ordered it closed down. Needless to say, the founding team managed to keep the site going and it has evolved into the largest and most popular alternative news and underground culture destination on the Web.Today The Disinformation Company is independently owned with offices in New York City. In addition to this site, The Disinformation Company also has thriving publishing, television and home video divisions.