Troy Blackford's Reviews > The Numerati

The Numerati by Stephen  Baker
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's review
Jul 15, 2011

really liked it
Read in May, 2011

This was an interesting and in many ways dispiriting book examining the data mining and collecting going on all around us. The thing holding this book back (and it's only a minor niggle) is that Mr. Baker's sort of 'sticking up' for human kind gets in the way a lot. Any kind of situation where an expert tells him they can determine x and y about people via z, he will be sure to throw in a 'But can you HONESTLY say that? What if I wanted peanut butter to, I don't know, act as an adhesive on my personal peanut butter model kit? You don't KNOW what I'm going to do with it, you just know that I bought/looked it up/ etc.'

By the end of the book, you get the sense that there might be angles left out simply because they rubbed the pro-humanity author the wrong way. Despite his assurance I would find this book 'punchier,' I found Stephen Baker's more recent work 'Final Jeopardy' to be a improvement on what was already interesting career.

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