I have read the OkTrends blog since its inception. Human behavior fascinates me, so I take any opportunity t...moreMaybe really 2.5 stars, but I rounded up.
I have read the OkTrends blog since its inception. Human behavior fascinates me, so I take any opportunity to read on it. The We Experiment On Human Beings post ensnared my attention since it flubs its nose at academic sensibilities at what is ethical experimentation. But, this review is not about Rudder's ethics, so I will move on to the book.
The writing engaged a technologist interested in Big Data, interesting links, and how data can be used in interesting ways. (Hardly surprising.) Many references made me laugh out loud. I highlighted 32 places according to my Kindle stats. Much more were worthy. The writing alone would make me give it 5 stars.
My first problem manifested in the lack of details in the main text. Where I expected to read about how conclusions were reached, the details were light. Where it all fell apart for me fell in the Coda section where he delved further into the methods used. Suddenly the assumptions, based on nothing but super wild ass guesses (SWAGs) came into complete view. For example, his conservative estimate is that active OkCupid users go on at least one date every two months and uses this with active users/month to arrive at 30,000 dates will happen tonight because of OkCupid. This number is used for other calculations. I would give this aspect no stars.
So an average of 2.5 stars rounded up is the reviewed 3. (less)
This book is really the story of why and how IEX was created. Humans made bad decisions. So, to protect people from other people, we moved the operati...moreThis book is really the story of why and how IEX was created. Humans made bad decisions. So, to protect people from other people, we moved the operation of the stock market to being run by computers. The natural consequence was for people to game the system with computer code. Rather than stay vigilant against new exploitations, we just redefined fair. The team behind IEX created it to eliminate these problems and establish a fair place for trading to occur.
About halfway through the book, I watched a commercial where an investment company touted their guaranteed one second trades. To the average person, this probably sounds amazing. The thing is that companies like this operate in milliseconds (1/1,000) and nanoseconds (1/1,000,000). Plus, they operate Dark Pools where the trade is obfuscated from independent review. Your trade could get executed where it benefits them and not you.
The overarching theme is that complexity and obfuscation created an environment where bad things can happen. As a technologist in education, I fight against this every day. We desire simplicity. Yet every change and especially those we execute without a good understanding of the business case creates complexity which will result in a failure. When no one fully understands how all the components work together, it exists to fail. Funnily enough, my team, the database administrators (really application administrators) sit at the intersection of the analysts, vendors, operating system admins, storage admins, network admins, and others. So this is familiar territory.
Zoran Perkov and Sergey Aleynikov are unsung heroes I am sure about whom I will spend more time reading. (less)
If you pick this up for an understanding of the movie, then note:
Most of the book covers other story lines. Two of the six are what I was looking to...moreIf you pick this up for an understanding of the movie, then note:
Most of the book covers other story lines. Two of the six are what I was looking to read. The comic is from 1980 and operates in that current time and the future (2013). Some of the first X-Men movie covers the 1980 events. Which is why the movie appears to go with 1960s X-Men.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading it. And I even more am looking forward to the movie.
P.S. I think the 90s cartoon series covered the original DoFP much closer to the comic than the new movie will. (less)