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Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are
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Book Club 2018 > February 2018 - Everybody Lies

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message 1: by Betsy, co-mod (new)

Betsy | 1669 comments Mod
For February 2018, we will be reading Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are.

Please use this thread to post questions, comments, and reviews, at any time.


Daniel | 106 comments Looking forward to this discussion. I read this a few months back so might be a bit rusty but really thought this one rose above the crowd of factoid nonfiction a la Taleb, Gladwell, Freakonomics.


David Rubenstein | 873 comments Mod
I just started this one. All about research mining large data sets to learn what people really are thinking. Very interesting.


message 4: by Summer (new) - added it

Summer (paradisecity) I’m hoping to get around to this one this month. Looking forward to the discussion!


Steve Cavit (stc123) | 10 comments I found this book interesting, informative and enjoyable, and I hope that everyone else does too.


Renata Riva | 11 comments I found this book fun to read: I have to admit that my Google searches are quite dull compared to the ones presented in "Everybody lies".

I am a bit sceptical about some of the results, but they certainly give new and interesting perspective to many questions.


David Rubenstein | 873 comments Mod
I finished this book, and it is excellent. I enjoyed very much reading about what people really think, rather than what they say they think.

What do people think about it?

Here is my review.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 260 comments Finally my name came up in the hold queue for this book at the library! I will be starting soon!

: )


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 260 comments I am generally enjoying the information about what people really want to know or what people’s opinions REALLY are, but I wish the author did not repeat himself, taking five pages to reiterate what he already said in a few paragraphs. I feel he wrote this book for an audience who has never had a science class. I also feel his earnest desire to be taken seriously, a feeling I am getting from his writing style, is annoying. I want to respond, “Ok, ok, I believe you! I do get it Statistical analysis is a proven process. Move on!”

I really do not like the writing style of this author.


Jehona | 35 comments I haven't finished it yet, but I'm not liking it. You can have all the data and be good at maths and stil not understand anything that's going on. This is why we don't replace everybody, from physicists to psychologists with mathematicians. There is a background to everything people do. The data itself can give you a general view of things and can help you eliminate impossible scenarios, but it cannot help you understand anything specific if you have no background, if you don't know what you are dealing with. The author clearly doesn't.


message 11: by Nancy (new) - added it

Nancy Mills (nancyfaym) | 404 comments I just started this book, and it looks like it's going to be fascinating, but I have already found a hole in it. He talks about racism and states that Obama had to overcome quite a bit due to racism and lost about 4 percentage points from explicit racism. However he does not mention the record number of black voter turnout and the fact that fully 95 percent of the black vote was for Obama (against the white guy.) This seems like it's own brand of racism to me. So far the book seems politically slanted which to me damages it's credibility.


message 12: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Apr 26, 2018 11:06AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 260 comments For fun, according to Wikipedia:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demog...

Black people are 12.6% of America’s population. Of course, they are in gerrymandered voting districts, so a lot of Black votes would be in voting silos or deserts, I think especially in Republican states, reducing their impact on overall outcomes.

Anyway, there are a lot of ways to massage ‘facts’. If I remember, the author said this. A lot.

I think this book was not meant to be a professional statistical scientific study for the ages. He was saying Google info could help supplement those face-to-face interviews where people lie because of embarrassment. I got the impression the book itself was, like, supposed to appeal to those of us who actually look forward to the Kardashian show on USA channel (whatever) and those of us who find our newest People magazine issue challenging (me, sometimes) to be politically incorrect. Joking! Kind of.


message 13: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 629 comments I really enjoyed the book. There's definitely a problem finding the truth in Big Data. "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." He makes that pretty clear & tries to reduce it with various cross checks, although I also thought he fell to his prejudices a few times. Still, I thought it had a lot of good food for thought & is an interesting avenue of research. I gave the audio book a 5 star review here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 14: by Nancy (new) - added it

Nancy Mills (nancyfaym) | 404 comments aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "For fun, according to Wikipedia:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demog...

Black people are 12.6% of America’s population. Of course, they are in gerrymandered voting distri..."


LOL well said aPriL ! I got the same impression. It was a fun read and points out some truths that polls and surveys would not reveal about people. The book does not pretend to be politically unbiased ... I think this hurts its credibility a bit ... but it is funny.


message 15: by Nancy (new) - added it

Nancy Mills (nancyfaym) | 404 comments Here's my review, hastily written, sorry, but I am on a reading frenzy ....
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Fun book. Easy reading and very revealing ... people don't always express what's on their minds, but their google searches give them away! Surprisingly large number of google searches for taboo stuff like "nigger" and "I want to have sex with my (fill in the blank, most common is "mother"), as well as men worrying how their sex organs' sizes compare with other guys', and women worrying about the odor of their sex organs (the author concludes that people are too self-conscious about their own shortcomings to worry too much about their partners'.)
The author is funny and I found myself thinking more than once, "this kid is really full of himself," but laughing while thinking it.
I would question some of his conclusions. Although he points out the hazards of confusing correlation with causation, he begins the book by insulting half the American voters by linking Donald Trump supporters with racist tendencies. While colorful, political bias is unseemly in a science/data type book. The author's blatant Barack Obama worship also apparently leads him to some conclusions about that election that I do find even more unconvincing (the Trump/racism link may have validity; the author does not offer concrete evidence, though.).
Worth reading. Big Data is the Big Thing right now.



View all my reviews


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