Super Crunchers

  • by Ian Ayres
  • Narrated by James Lurie
  • 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Why would a casino try and stop you from losing? How can a mathematical formula find your future spouse? Would you know if a statistical analysis blackballed you from a job you wanted? Today, number crunching affects your life in ways you might never imagine. In this lively and groundbreaking new audiobook, economist Ian Ayres shows how today's best and brightest organizations are analyzing massive databases at lightening speed to provide greater insights into human behavior. They are the Super Crunchers. From Internet sites like Google and Amazon that know your tastes better than you do, to a physician's diagnosis and your child's education, to boardrooms and government agencies, this new breed of decision maker is calling the shots. And they are delivering staggeringly accurate results. How can a football coach evaluate a player without ever seeing him play? Want to know whether the price of an airline ticket will go up or down before you buy? How can a formula outpredict wine experts in determining the best vintages? Super crunchers have the answers.
In this brave new world of equation versus expertise, Ayres shows us the benefits and risks, who loses and who wins, and how super crunching can be used to help, not manipulate, us. Gone are the days of solely relying on intuition to make decisions. No businessperson, consumer, or student who wants to stay ahead of the curve should make another keystroke without listening to Super Crunchers.

More

What the Critics Say

"Lively and enjoyable....Ayres skillfully demonstrates the importance that statistical literacy can play in our lives." (Publishers Weekly)

More

See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

good, but missing a lot of stuff

The whole approach of the book is descriptive, nothing teaching how to implement any of what he talks about. It's Cool to see what's happening on the field.

I think a chapter about big data, Map reduce and machine learning is missing. These are new and interesting fields that are very popular in todays crunching environment. would be cool if he would cite examples of tools so the reader can do his own crunching.


Well.. th Book is a good read if you're trying to know what it is, not how to do it. And the topics I cited above are things to research for after this book
Read full review

- Fabio

Essential reading

It is too bad that this has somehow gotten categorized as a "business book". Certainly many of its anecdotes are business oriented, as indeed are many of the applications of supercrunching. But the profound effect that Internet-driven statistical and probability analysis has had on the lives of ordinary people are profound.

To his credit, the book is written for the lay reader. you don't have to be an expert in statistics, and the examples are from everyday life. I was expecting something pretty dry and in fact found his writing quite entertaining.

I felt there was only one omission. It seems pretty clear that business, medical, and other decision making will increasingly be driven by supercrunched statistics. So the author could have spent more time discussing the implications of this. For example, if your physician defaults to software which is generally accepted to make good diagnostic decisions, does this mean that he or she no longer has liability for malpractice? Should a bank loan officer be fired for ignoring an obvious reason for declining a mortgage which wasn't covered by the analytical software? The book could have offered more discussion of these second order consequences.
Read full review

- Jonathan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-02-2007
  • Publisher: Random House Audio