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
The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.~Adam Smith, The Wealth Of Nations
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