Hugh Pickens writes writes: "BBC reports that according to a recent study at the University of California San Diego, knowing how a book ends does not ruin its story and can actually enhance enjoyment suggesting that people may enjoy a good story as much as a good twist at the end, and even if they know the outcome, will enjoy the journey as much as the destination. "It could be that once you know how it turns out, you're more comfortable processing the information and can focus on a deeper understanding of the story," says Co-author Jonathan Leavitt. Researchers gave 12 short stories to 30 participants where two versions were spoiled and a third unspoiled and in all but one story, readers said they preferred versions which had spoiling paragraphs written into it and even when the stories contained a plot twist or mystery, subjects preferred the spoiled versions. "Plots are just excuses for great writing," says social psychologist Nicholas Christenfeld. "As a film director, your job isn't really to come to the conclusion that the butler did it. A single line would do that.""
"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not
Compute' -- I forget which."
-- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982