An audacious, irreverent investigation of human behavior - and a first look at a revolution in the making.
Our personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don’t need. In Dataclysm, Christian Rudder uses it to show us who we truly are. For centuries, we've relied on polling or small-scale lab experiments to study human behavior. Today, a new approach is possible. As we live more of our lives online, researchers can finally observe us directly, in vast numbers, and without filters. Data scientists have become the new demographers.
In this daring and original book, Rudder explains how Facebook "likes" can predict, with surprising accuracy, a person’s sexual orientation and even intelligence; how attractive women receive exponentially more interview requests; and why you must have haters to be hot. He charts the rise and fall of America’s most reviled word through Google Search and examines the new dynamics of collaborative rage on Twitter. He shows how people express themselves, both privately and publicly. What is the least Asian thing you can say? Do people bathe more in Vermont or New Jersey? What do black women think about Simon & Garfunkel? (Hint: they don't think about Simon & Garfunkel.) Rudder also traces human migration over time, showing how groups of people move from certain small towns to the same big cities across the globe. And he grapples with the challenge of maintaining privacy in a world where these explorations are possible.
Visually arresting and full of wit and insight, Dataclysm is a new way of seeing ourselves - a brilliant alchemy, in which math is made human and numbers become the narrative of our time.
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They read the data tables--it is painful
The story is great. The direction on the audio performance is bizarrely terrible.
For some reason the director of this audio performance thought it would be a good idea to read the many long tables out loud. Imagine sitting though five minutes of the narrator reading a 120 data table. It is PAINFUL.
I love audio books and particularly enjoy non-fiction. This is one you need to read in print, though.
Buy the book. Experience it visually.
This is a book to look at, not to listen to. Listening to descriptions of graphs and the contents of tables is far less efficient and effective than looking at them. While deeply interesting, reading the book in this form was tedious despite the narrator doing a wonderful job at a hopeless task. What was I thinking?
It's not the content or the narrator that's the problem. It's the format.