I went to the library the other day and picked up a copy of Stephen Baker’s The Numerati, which I first wrote about here.
The book is organized into seven chapters which describe ways that data is being analyzed in mass quantities: Worker, Shopper, Voter, Blogger, Terrorist, Patient, and Lover.
You’d think that Lover would be the most interesting but it had the least substance; Voter (about Josh Gotbaum of Spotlight Analysis) was by far the most interesting chapter.
The Numerati was such a quick read that I finished it in just a few short disappointing hours.
I felt Baker was stretching to fill out his book with examples of how mathematicians are dangerously invading our privacy by quantifying and analyzing our lives.
Still, it was entertaining; just keep your expectations low.
As a nerd (MIT grads are nerds by default), I’m deeply interested in reading Stephen Baker‘s The Numerati.
This book explores how mathematicians are quantifying and analyzing our lives. Thanks to the use of credit/debit cards and the electronic gadgets we use (cell phones, TiVo, laptops, GPS, etc), our lives are becoming increasingly digital and increasingly transparent lives.
So many things that we do create digital data points that allow our behavior to be analyzed.
It’s definitely a book of the times; the Wall Street Journal, Conde Nast Portfolio, San Francisco Chronicle, Business Week, and many other well-respected news sources have reviewed this book favorably.
Click here to listen to Baker speak about The Numerati on NPR’s Fresh Air; an excerpt is also available on that site. Click here to view the table of contents.