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Dataclysm: Who We Are by Christian Rudder Review

Title: Dataclysm: Who We Are

Author: Christian Rudder

First published September 9, 2014

304 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780385347372 (ISBN10: 0385347375)

Rating: 3.74


Dataclysm: Who We Are by Christian Rudder is an eye-opening and thought-provoking investigation of human behavior in the digital age. Our personal data is being used to shape our lives, and Rudder shows us how it reveals who we truly are.

Using real-world examples and cutting-edge research, Rudder explains how data scientists are becoming the new demographers, able to observe and analyze human behavior in vast numbers and without filters. Discover how Facebook “likes” can predict a person’s sexual orientation and intelligence, and why attractive women receive exponentially more interview requests.

From the rise and fall of America’s most reviled word to the new dynamics of collaborative rage on Twitter, Rudder reveals the fascinating insights that data can provide. He also explores the challenge of maintaining privacy in a world where our personal information is constantly being collected and analyzed.

Full of wit, insight, and visually arresting graphics, Dataclysm offers a new way of seeing ourselves and our society, where math is made human and numbers become the narrative of our time.

About the Author

Meet Christian Rudder – a multi-talented American entrepreneur, mathematician, writer, and musician. He is most notably recognized as one of the Co-Founders of the popular dating app, OkCupid.

Editoral Review

“Dataclysm: Who We Are” by Christian Rudder is a fascinating exploration of human behavior and the hidden patterns that emerge when we interact with each other online. As the co-founder of the popular dating site OkCupid, Rudder has access to an enormous dataset of user information, which he uses to analyze everything from race and gender to religion and politics.

The book is a blend of social science, statistics, and memoir, as Rudder shares his own experiences running OkCupid and the insights he gained along the way. He writes in a conversational style that is both accessible and engaging, making complex concepts easy to understand for the general reader.

The book is organized into chapters that focus on different topics, such as race and attraction, gender and messaging, and the power of networks. Rudder uses data visualizations to illustrate his points, which are often surprising and counterintuitive.

For example, he shows how certain racial groups are more likely to be rated as attractive than others, and how men and women have different preferences when it comes to messaging each other.

One of the strengths of the book is Rudder’s ability to turn dry statistics into compelling stories. He uses anecdotes and examples to show how the data he has collected can be used to better understand human behavior.

He also includes historical context and cultural references to provide a broader perspective on the issues he is discussing.

The book is not without its flaws, however. At times, Rudder can be overly reductive in his analysis, reducing complex social issues to simple statistics.

He also tends to focus on the data itself, rather than the people behind the data, which can make the book feel impersonal at times.

Overall, “Dataclysm: Who We Are” is an enlightening and thought-provoking read, particularly for anyone interested in social science or online dating. Rudder’s insights are sure to spark conversations and debates, and his storytelling skills make the book a pleasure to read.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to better understand how we interact with each other online.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. While the book has some limitations, it is a valuable contribution to the field of social science and a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of technology and human behavior.

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