We are not all pathological liars.*
But Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is an awesome read or listen (five hours at 1.5X speed).
We lie to pollsters, we lie to our spouses, to our teachers and friends and neighbors — to ourselves — but not so much to Google. And page after page, this produces insights.
About sex. (Warning: it gets kinky and graphic.)
About prejudice. (It’s deeper than we like to think.)
About politics. (People searching for “Trump-Clinton debate” lean differently, it turns out, from those who search for “Clinton-Trump debate.” If the Clinton team had seen how this varied from their polling results in states like Pennsylvania, they might have shifted resources and won.)
About sex. (There’s a lot in this book about sex. And I’m not repeating that just to get you to read it.)
And it’s not all Google-based. You will learn how big data helped a guy crack the horse-racing code. He literally found the secret to what makes horses winners — and made a fortune.
Not unlike the way Billy Beane cracked the ball-player code. (There’s a lot in the book about baseball.)
It’s smart and funny and topical.
*And neither is Jon Lovitz. He just plays one on TV.
Quote of the Day
Your average Wall Streeter, faced with nothing profitable to do, does nothing for only a brief time. Then, suddenly and hysterically, he does something which turns out to be extremely unprofitable. He is not a lazy man.~Fred Schwed, Where Are the Customers' Yachts?
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