Interesting and well written book on many of the potential uses of the data that we are feeding daily into our computerized resources. I hadn't really thought about the fact that, beyond just computer use, this now includes cell phones, cars, credit and shoppers cards. Beyond the potential for abuse identity theft, lack of privacy scientists use the datastreams to study our behavior in new ways - if they can sort out the critical pieces! I'm not sure why I picked this up from a remainder table, but I think the reviews were moderately interesting. Baker gives a galloping tour of today's efforts to understand and categorize people by gathering and quantifying all the digital fingerprints we leave every day on the web, in various databases from credit cards to governments to grocery stores. Easy to read, breezy - but ultimately it reads like a series of articles for the Sunday Times Magazine section.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — The Numerati by Stephen Baker. An urgent look at how a global math elite is predicting and altering our behavior -- at work, at the mall, and in bed Every day we produce loads of data about ourselves simply by living in the modern world: we click web pages, flip channels, drive through automatic toll booths, shop with credit cards, and make cell phone calls.
Now, in one of the greatest undertakings of th An urgent look at how a global math elite is predicting and altering our behavior -- at work, at the mall, and in bed Every day we produce loads of data about ourselves simply by living in the modern world: we click web pages, flip channels, drive through automatic toll booths, shop with credit cards, and make cell phone calls.
Now, in one of the greatest undertakings of the twenty-first century, a savvy group of mathematicians and computer scientists is beginning to sift through this data to dissect us and map out our next steps.
Their goal? To manipulate our behavior -- what we buy, how we vote -- without our even realizing it. In this tour de force of original reporting and analysis, journalist Stephen Baker provides us with a fascinating guide to the world we're all entering -- and to the people controlling that world. The Numerati have infiltrated every realm of human affairs, profiling us as workers, shoppers, patients, voters, potential terrorists -- and lovers.
The implications are vast. Our privacy evaporates. Our bosses can monitor and measure our every move then reward or punish us. Politicians can find the swing voters among us, by plunking us all into new political groupings with names like "Hearth Keepers" and "Crossing Guards. But the Numerati can also work on our behalf, diagnosing an illness before we're aware of the symptoms, or even helping us find our soul mate. Surprising, enlightening, and deeply relevant, The Numerati shows how a powerful new endeavor -- the mathematical modeling of humanity -- will transform every aspect of our lives.
But he's always considered himself a foreign correspondent. This, he says, was especially useful as he met the Numerati. This was foreign to me. My reporting became an anthropological mission. He is the coauthor of blogspotting. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published August 12th by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Numerati , please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Numerati. Sep 09, David rated it liked it Shelves: audiobook , technology , nonfiction , computers. I was expecting a book about the people who are exploiting "big data". I expected to hear about the people who analyze the huge data sets that are proliferating through our society. There is a little bit of that, but mostly I read about the technology itself, and the myriad of ways in which it is being used in all facets of life.
Very interesting, but the title is misleading. The problem is that the author is a journalist, and he writes the book like a memoir of some of his interviews. He mention I was expecting a book about the people who are exploiting "big data". He mentions some of the buzz words like neural networks, support vector machine, Bayesian inference, but he does not show any understanding of these concepts.
The author could have gotten some help from a real technologist, to co-author the book and explain these concepts. There is a lot of discussion about the applications for big data, but very little about the how the algorithms work. I guess my problem is that I am prejudiced against journalists writing books on subjects for which they are not experts.
I much prefer to read books by experts in the field, who are also good communicators. On the other hand, the book casts a wide net over many applications for big data. The chapter on medical information was fascinating. Sensors in our homes, and perhaps even in our bodies may allow doctors to remotely monitor our health. The trick is to filter the immense amount of information, and summarize it in an easy-to-digest format.
Send out an alert when something isn't right, but make sure that false alarms don't prevail. Big data is being used by politicians, by companies large and small, by retailers, intelligence agencies, and online dating sites. The author describes an interesting experiment he conducted with his wife. They both enrolled on an online dating site, to see if the algorithms would find that they are a good match for one another. Oct 19, Brian rated it liked it. View 1 comment. This is a book that has not aged well, which is not surprising since the purpose was to be timely, but there are points in these pages that reveal just how shallow Baker's understanding of this topic is.
This lack of depth is especially regretted since the particular moment he was writing in was a remarkable period. The 's were a decade of radical changes in approaches to data mining and modeling, largely coming out of incredible leaps in processing speed and capability.
Inventive algorithms This is a book that has not aged well, which is not surprising since the purpose was to be timely, but there are points in these pages that reveal just how shallow Baker's understanding of this topic is. Inventive algorithms and cheap data storage essentially put data mining at the center of everyone's business plan. Since the Big Data project has pretty much ossified into a set of standard approaches that are proven to be robust and has almost entirely rebutted all of Baker's key ideas, and the kind of pie or eye -in-the-sky hyperbole that Baker indulges in here is nothing but nonsense pushed forward by a minority and already viewed as unuseful and overreaching in The only significant change in personal metrics and big data in the past decade is the ability to store more and move through it faster.
Truly the problem is that the modelers are awash in so much data that were the types of data collection issues that are the only parts of the book that Baker has a handle on the bottleneck on the road to a modeled future of the kind he predicts, then we would have passed some critical threshold some years ago.
Instead, none of his predictions hold up, and I don't think Baker understands why or really cares. A math-illiterate journalist's approach to a technical topic written to formula borrowed from writers like Thomas Friedman daily example, specific angle derived from the daily example, meet the excited expert who is given to exciting statements about exciting changes!!!!
Jun 06, Thom rated it it was ok Shelves: non-fiction. Journalist Stephen L. Baker wrote this forward-thinking book nearly 10 years ago, connecting math to computer assessments of the population and describing the results. While the history is good, the current analysis and future predictions are a ways off. The authors math seems up to the challenge, but he underestimates the power and storage of computers and overestimates the cleverness of algorithmic methods.
The result is chapters on topics which seem very dated. The writing style is anecdotal a Journalist Stephen L. The writing style is anecdotal and the research too personal for my tastes. Perhaps the most interesting chapter was on medical monitoring, which the author says will work best if it is truly voluntary.
Enter fitbit and google or amazon devices to speak to users, and it should be a short time before the tracked information is not stored in raw form but as part of a model. With that, Alexa and their ilk should be able to warn us when they notice signs of medical problems before it is too late. Those models don't exist outside of a few labs, and until they do and are somehow focused into sellable products , the rest of us will miss out.
The reams of data still being collected are at a higher risk of being used against us instead of for us. This book unfortunately doesn't go far enough into this topic either. Goodreads uses one star for "did not like it" and five for "Awesome". This book comes in just under the two star category, "it was okay" - and perhaps would have rated higher upon first release.
Aug 29, Jimmy Ele rated it really liked it. The Math Intelligentsia dubbed the Numerati by Stephen Baker are modeling us humans in almost every aspect of our humanity.
The most interesting cha The Math Intelligentsia dubbed the Numerati by Stephen Baker are modeling us humans in almost every aspect of our humanity. The most interesting chapter for me was the lover chapter.
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