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The Numerati

3.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,206 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
"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 of Wired Magazine (Wired Magazine )

An urgent look at how a global math elite is predicting and altering our behavior -- at work, at the mall, and
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published August 12th 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2008)
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Dec 09, 2015 David rated it liked it
I was expecting a book about the people who are exploiting "big data". I expected to hear about the people who analyze the huge data sets that are proliferating through our society. There is a little bit of that, but mostly I read about the technology itself, and the myriad of ways in which it is being used in all facets of life. Very interesting, but the title is misleading.

The problem is that the author is a journalist, and he writes the book like a memoir of some of his interviews. He mention
Oct 31, 2008 Brian rated it liked it
well. i thought this would be the next malcolm gladwell, steven levitt masterpiece, but instead it's a book that has a catchy title/cover and even a great premise, but the author (Stephen Baker) fails to deliver much new information about how 'the world is watching our every move.' could've condensed the entire book to a magazine article.
الطفرةُ التكنولوجية ولَّدت ابتكاراتٍ على مستوى التقنيات من جهةِ سرعة التواصل وتقريب المسافات مع الآخرين عن طريق اجهزة الحاسوب والهواتف الخليوية "الأجهزة الذكيَّة"، استطاعوا أنْ يجعلوا هذه الأخيرة عالميَّة، سلوكُ الناس أصبحَ على نمطٍ واحد في هذه الأجهزة وهذه إحدى النجاحات التي تُحققُ عنوان "العولمة"..

بعد كل ذلك يتمكَّنونَ من رصد السلوكيات والتفاعلات، وجعلها في خوارزميات، ثمَّ تحوليها إلى معادلاتٍ رقميَّة ورياضيَّةٍ، فيسهُلُ حينها تحليلُ ذلك، والكشفِ عن أمورٍ خافية تُسهل عمليَّة الاختراق ..!

Anas Abukhadijah
Aug 31, 2014 Anas Abukhadijah rated it liked it
كان جورج اوريل لا ينفك يكرر في رائعته 1984 الاخ الكبير يراقبك
لـكن من المؤكد ان شكل الاخ الكبير اليوم لم يخطر ببـاله ابـداً
لـم يـعد يحتاج لجيوش العملاء والمخبريين الجرارة نحن نبعث لهم
. بتقارير محدثة دقيقة فدقية

يعمل الرقميون على تفكيك تشابكنا تعقيداتنا وتحويلنا الى رموز
ونماذج تدور في خورزمياتهم

يحاولون توقع سلوكنا والتنبؤ بأعماق رغباتنا
ينمذجون البشرية رياضياً
يتكون الكتاب من خمسة فصول

نتشارك المعلومات وبعض الخصوصيات مع معارفنا
لكن كل مجموعة لا تعلم عن المعلوم
Jimmy Ele
Sep 09, 2015 Jimmy Ele rated it really liked it
The Math Intelligentsia dubbed the Numerati by Stephen Baker are modeling us humans in almost every aspect of our humanity. The book is divided into different chapters: Introduction, Worker, Shopper, Blogger, Terrorist, Lover, and Conclusion. A very interesting read that delves into the different groups of people and corporations that benefit from such information we readily give away with just a few clicks on the computer, and/or our cell phone usage among other things. The most interesting cha ...more
Ali Al-Gharrash
الكتاب يشرح كيف يقوم علماء الريضيات وشركة البرمجيات بدراسة ٍاليب وانماط الحياة لدى الفرد وتحويلها لمعادلات رياضية بغية استنتاج تصرفات معينة أوسلوك معين يمكن من خلاله الإستفادة منه في توجيه الاعلانات التجارية او الحملات الإنتخابية أو توقع مرض معين وحتى توقع النزعات الإجرامية للفرد
الكتاب يناقش هذه النقطة كما يناقش ايضاً سلبية هذه الدراسات حيث انها تسبب انتهاكاً صارخاً لحرية الأفراد
Dec 20, 2008 Desiree rated it liked it
I think I would have liked this book if the author had given more specifics. Yes, I am sure we all know by now that we are being tracked. Computers are powerful enough to sift through massive amounts of data and their results will become more and more useful as time goes on. I am about to tackle a related book called Click, which I may find more interesting!
Prem Balakrishnan
For a nonfiction book this book was suprisingly interesting. This book talks about The Numerati or "the data crunchers" of our day and age, which would be the mathematicians, computer scientists, bankers, investers, software engineers. As a person that is very analytical, I found this book interesting to read. It goes through and describes how these people's jobs are used to figure out various things about their indirect consumers. For example, in the telemarketing industry computer scientists c ...more
David Wake
Dec 21, 2008 David Wake rated it liked it
Very interesting raw information - disturbing, I guess you'd say. But a little disappointing on the analysis side. Maybe the purpose of this kind of book is simply to scare you by listing all the kinds of things that you do that aren't private anymore, but I was sort of hoping to get more of a 'what should we make of this' kind of take as well.
Oct 09, 2015 Alger rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that has not aged well, which is not surprising since the purpose was to be timely, but there are points in these pages that reveal just how shallow Baker's understanding of this topic is. This lack of depth is particularly to be regretted since the particular moment he was writing in was a remarkable period. The 2000's were a decade of radical changes in approaches to data mining and modeling, largely coming out of incredible leaps in processing speed and capability. Inventive al ...more
Aug 03, 2011 Jesse added it
Interesting overview of how information is being sorted, used and manipulated in the digital era and the directions that people are going to explore the possibilities. Author is somewhat optimistic about the ends to which this information will be put, while glossing over some of the bigger problems and challenges that are presented with this. Though he does provide a good example of one researcher that has already run into a 'Nobel' issue with his data manipulation technology.

As stated, while th
Jan 31, 2011 David rated it it was ok
Title is a clever neologism for people who engage in data mining to serve some pragmatic goal (e.g., Karl Rove micro-targeting likely-persuadable Republican voters to go to the polls; Amazon figuring out what you might like to read from what you have ordered previously; correlating your profile with that of another customer with whom you might like to go out........).

Underlying process is kind of interesting but the book itself is too long and repetitive, and it was a little disconcert
Ben Babcock
I agree with those reviewers who found this book somewhat less awesome than they initially anticipated. Coming from a math background, and as surrounded by technology as I am, I think that the book would have had more of an impact with me if I knew less about these issues already. And that's why I'm giving it such a high rating: it does a good job educating, and I like that in a book.

Stephen Baker's tone is conversational and analytical as he takes you through successive chapters that introduce
Maurizio Codogno
Questo libro ha un sottotitolo che sembra stato scritto da Lina Wertmüller: "Chi sono i Signori dei numeri che controllano il nostro comportamento: cosa compriamo, come votiamo, come amiamo". Eppure chi ha scelto il titolo dell'edizione italiana non ha avuto il coraggio di lasciare intatto quello originale e scrivere "I Numerati", ma ha scelto di usare qualcosa a effetto, incurante del fatto che più che altro si parla di statistici e informatici. Ma si sa, i matematici hanno sempre una brutta no ...more
Jan 08, 2009 Evelyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I’ve been fascinated by marketing and consumer trends since reading Why We Buy by Paco Underhill several years ago. After reading The Numerati, I’m blown away by what data mining companies are doing everyday with those little bits of information we consumers leave behind every time we use our debit cards, cell phones, computers and other electronic devices.

Baker begins by showing us how much we rely on our computers and Google; even though we know we are being tracked. He tells us, “Even if you
Aug 15, 2013 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, math
It's impossible for me to review this without making comparisons to a very similar book I recently read: Super Crunchers by Ian Ayers.

This book was written by a liberal arts major/business writer and reads like it. That isn't a negative aspect necessarily, but if Super Crunchers (written by an economist who crunches numbers in his career) barely skimmed the math behind data mining, than The Numerati never touched it. Again, that isn't a negative, per se. It actually might be a positive for peopl
Aug 02, 2011 Vicky rated it liked it
This book is a fascinating insight into what our future is going to be. We have to forget about privacy, keeping secrets or being on our own. We are constantly watched, observed, analyzed and manipulated. Everything about us is part of various databases, accessed by different agencies with different agendas. We supply the data ourselves by using Internet, keeping blogs, being on Social Networks, going to the doctor, library, even the grocery shop. We are profiled, our next step is predicted and ...more
Tim Niland
Oct 24, 2008 Tim Niland rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
Data is everywhere, from the discount cards at the supermarket to the surveillance cameras on city streets. In charge of collecting and parsing all of this data are those Baker calls The Numerati, the keepers of the data. Baker looks at the amazing amount of information that is being collected in a number of different settings from shopping to national security, dating sites, and medical information. He follows the Numerati as they use this data to profile people, and explains both the pros and ...more
Mar 14, 2009 Natalia rated it liked it
I was disapointed with this book. It's a full-length book about the use of statistical methods and data mining to model people... but there is no discussion at all of those statistical methods or data mining techniques. It's full of talk about the data that's collected, and the predictions that are or could potentially be made, but the middle bit, the way that analysis actually happens is simply not addressed.

Now, I understand that other people are not as interested in statistics as I am. I get
Nathaniel Brooks
May 06, 2009 Nathaniel Brooks rated it it was ok
An interesting look at the emerging importance of data-mining in virtually every sphere of our economy and public life, but definitely an outsider's look. Many of the insights that Baker portrays as shocking will come as yesterday's news to anyone who a) leads anything approaching a wired life and b) has ever troubled to think for a minute about all the free services, rewards programs, etc. available to the savvy consumer... or even wondered briefly about how the now-ubiquitous "recommendation e ...more
السيد العلوي
قرأته، وأتصوره كتابًا مهمًا، فهو يتحدث عن مدى التعقيد الثقافي الذي أحدثته الطفرات التكنلوجية الهائلة وخصوصًا في ميدان النشاط التواصلي، فالمجتمعات مقيدة بثقافة التواصل العصرية، ولا تتمكن من التحرر منها بالرغم مما يكشفه الكاتب في كتابه (الرقميون).. أنصح بقراءة الكتاب
Feb 27, 2009 Noah rated it did not like it
This book is rather Friedman-esque, and I mean that in the worst possible way. Baker had a germ of a thesis (and a rather obvious thesis, in my opinion), and then proceeded to work himself into a froth over it and produce 200+ pages in which he restates it over and over with increasingly strained analogies. Worse yet, the most interesting questions in this field - questions about things like changing expectations of privacy, identity, and the ways in which targeting might itself change behavior ...more
May 14, 2010 Nicole rated it it was ok
I wouldn't necessarily call this a bad book, but it was a disappointing one for me. It provided a survey of some of the applications of data mining in modern culture, but failed to provide any information about the mathematics - while I agree with Baker that not everyone needs to become one of the Numerati, it wouldn't hurt to give readers a few basic concepts - and gave only a cursory examination of the ethical issues involved in this kind of research. I was looking for a book that I could reco ...more
Manar Moadi
May 30, 2016 Manar Moadi rated it really liked it
الكتاب يتحدث بشكل عام عن الأرقام و الاحصاء و الاحتمالات و تأثيرها على حياتنا و استخدامها في الطب و التجسس و حتى الإعلانات
و يطرح تساؤلات حول مدى الحد الذي يجب أن تستخدم فيه المعلومات الشخصية الموجودة على الانترنت من قبل الجهات المختلفة مقابل فكرة الحرية الفردية و ما إذا كانت فكرة القدرة على توقع إصابتك بوعكة صحية ما من تغير بياناتك الطبية عبر مراقبتها باستخدام سينسورات معينة تبرر وجود أجهزة في جسمك و ما إذا كانت فكرة الحماية من قبل الدولة تبرر الحصول على مكالماتك الهاتفية و بريدك الإلكتروني ، أ
Krishna Kumar
May 06, 2015 Krishna Kumar rated it liked it
“The Numerati” is a fascinating look into the analysis of mountains of data collected from online activity and the people and companies engaged in making sense of this information with the idea to convert it into products, services and even votes.

The author’s venture into this field comes at a junction in time when the analysis tools and ideas are still in their infancy. The science is not perfect and there will be more hits than misses. However, as some of the people interviewed in the book sug
May 25, 2015 Catalina rated it really liked it
A través de una minuciosa investigación periodística, Stephen Baker publica "Numerati" para explicarnos quiénes son y cuáles son sus objetivos, al clasificarnos y desmenusarnos en números. El autor divide los capítulos de acuerdo al estudio y las entrevistas realizadas por él a algún numerati determinado, según los siguientes perfiles trabajados por ellos (varían las especialidades trabajadas por los numerati): Empleado, Consumidor, Votante, Bloguero, Terrorista, Paciente y Pareja.
El libro en s
Sep 27, 2008 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who is interested in behavioral analytics
I'll post a more complete review as a blog article. But I can say that I loved the authors approach and deep dive into the people and organizations that are crunching very large databases to find behavioral patterns... of you and I!
Aug 07, 2011 Maura rated it liked it
Nothing earth-shattering here regarding how our data is collected and used, but it did make a career in such analysis seem more appealing. Also, it made me wonder when/if I'd start getting more penalized as a consumer for being thrifty.
Sep 28, 2013 Hukes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magazine-like writing and shallow attack on subjects. Not bad, but not an engrosssing book. For the casual readers who'd like to know a bit (just a bit) about what math can be used for in the internetz.
Lance Agena
Feb 04, 2014 Lance Agena rated it it was ok
If you want to learn about data mining, Google it. This book adds no new insight that isn't already out in the mainstream media. Digital natives can leave it be.
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Stephen Baker is an American journalist. In 2008, he wrote The Numerati, a book about the Big Data economy. Until 2009 he worked for covered technology for BusinessWeek. In November, he left to go freelance and finish his second book, Final Jeopardy. His first novel, The Boo
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“Decades ago, I'm told, my sister-in-law...was stepping out of the shower in the bathroom of her all-women's dorm, and she heard the call "Men on the floor!" At many schools, this would have been a non-event, but she was in a highly conservative religious college. She was naked. She had only a small towel to cover herself, and there were men prowling the hallways. She could hear them. She waited, but they didn't go away. So she began to think about which part of her body to cover with the towel. It barely fit across her bottom or her top. It certainly didn't cover both. She had to make a choice. Finally, she had an inspired idea. She threw the towel over her head and scampered naked to her room. Given the options, it was more important for her to cloak her identity than her body.” 1 likes
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