I Wanna be Literated #176

I Wanna be Literated #176

Friday, 09 March 2018

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Reveals About Who We Really Are
by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

I’ve been hesitant to jump on the bandwagon with books like Freakonomics, which claim to have an alternative take (read: the REAL take, maaaan) on how to interpret our lives. But, Everybody Lies just might have converted me.

In this book, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (SSD, for short) uses something very simple, our Google searches, to explain human behavior. What we mostly learn, as you can imagine, is that everybody lies. Thought the 2016 elections were completely unpredictable? Then why did Trump’s wins focus so heavily on counties that frequently searched for racial terms? Think we’re culturally divided by our news sources? Then why are so many alt-right extremists readers of the New York Times? Are you a country that claims there are no homosexuals living in your midst? Then why are there so many searches for gay porn in your country? Honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg because Everybody Lies is just chock full of interesting studies that are as surprising as they are shocking. Probably because a lot of us tell Google our secrets.

We’re also lucky to have a writer like SSD at the helm, as he’s figured out a way to explain his experiments, their methods and goals, simply and effectively. He’s also chosen to pick topics that are highly relevant to our lives or that seem trashy but in actuality tell us a lot about how we identify ourselves. In other words, Everybody Lies is quite the page-turner.

This just might be the perfect cocktail party book. You’ll definitely feel smarter after finishing it. Read this and it might make you the most interesting man in the world. You won’t even have to drink shitty beer to make that happen.

Get it from Dey.

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