Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us about Who We Really Are
By Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
Call Number: QA76.9.D343 S685155 2017
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A former Google data scientist presents an insider’s look at what the vast, instantly available amounts of information from the Internet can reveal about human civilization and society.
How much sex are people really having? How many Americans are actually racist? Is America experiencing a hidden back-alley abortion crisis? Can you game the stock market? Does violent entertainment increase the rate of violent crime? Do parents treat sons differently from daughters? How many people actually read the books they buy? In this groundbreaking work, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a Harvard-trained economist, former Google data scientist, and New York Times writer, argues that much of what we thought about people has been dead wrong. The reason? People lie, to friends, lovers, doctors, surveys–and themselves. However, we no longer need to rely on what people tell us. New data from the internet–the traces of information that billions of people leave on Google, social media, dating, and even pornography sites–finally reveals the truth. By analyzing this digital goldmine, we can now learn what people really think, what they really want, and what they really do. Sometimes the new data will make you laugh out loud. Sometimes the new data will shock you. Sometimes the new data will deeply disturb you. But, always, this new data will make you think. This book will change the way you view the world. There is almost no limit to what can be learned about human nature from Big Data–provided, that is, you ask the right questions.