The Numerati

  • by Stephen Baker
  • Narrated by Paul Michael Garcia
  • 7 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Every day, we produce loads of data about ourselves simply by living in the modern world: we click web pages, flip channels, drive through automatic toll booths, shop with credit cards, and make cell-phone calls. Now, in one of the greatest undertakings of the 21st century, a savvy group of mathematicians and computer scientists is beginning to sift through this data to profile us as workers, shoppers, patients, voters, potential terrorists, even lovers. Their goal? To manipulate our behavior - what we buy, how we vote - without our even realizing it.In this tour de force of original reporting and analysis, journalist Stephen Baker provides us with a fascinating guide to the world we're all entering and the people controlling that world.

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What the Critics Say

"Steve Baker puts his finger on perhaps the most important cultural trend today: the explosion of data about every aspect of our world and the rise of applied math gurus who know how to use it." (Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Wired magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good but not the best of the genre

This is a book about the existence and contemporary use of data in todays world. The amount of data being gathered each moment is staggering. What is purchased, what people are searching for on google, where people are going, what they are reading etc. This has spawned the practice of using such data to make predictions of what is to happen - what we will be interested in, what we will but, where we will go etc. The people who do this analysis are called the numerati.

It is a very interesting read but there are two other books, Supercrunchers and the Drunkard's Walk that address this same phenomena in different and better ways. All three books demonstrate how this data is used and how one could take advantage of it.
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- Stephen

Balanced Warning and Possibilities

Great book with comfortable narrator. The story that Baker provides is one of growing science of data analysis in various sections of our lives. The description of the complexity of drawing meaningful linkages in premptive terrorist identification leaves a curious mix of encouragement and frightening anxiety over predicting a repeat of September 11th. Later chapter on medical research in variety of illnesses that inflict our own aging process is also encouraging, while incorporating a brief discussion of efforts to identify "dark cutter" steers before investing the continuing costs to raise a low profit calf, all with the use of similar electronic data gathering as those which will help warn of oncoming development of Parkinsons in a family member.

A good collection about the pace of development and variety of future applications of the "numerati" professionals who are sifting and gleaning among our everyday activities which we hardly notice. Maybe all of HAL's brethren were not disconnected in 2001 ?
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- William Milz

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-24-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.