In Dataclysm you’re taking this flood of information and putting it to an entirely new use: understanding human nature. I tried really hard to avoid the numerical dog and pony show.
There are of course lots of interesting one-off factoids, but I mostly found what I (and probably you) have always known: that people are gentle, mean, stupid, lusty, lonely, kind, foolish, shrewd, shallow, and endlessly complex.
And that, as Christian Rudder demonstrates in his new book, Dataclysm, is perhaps an equally worthwhile pursuit.
The data in my book is almost all passively observed—there’s no questionnaire, no contrived experiment to simulate “real life.” This data is real life.
Online you have friends, lovers, enemies, and intense moments of truth without a thought for who’s watching, because ostensibly no one is—except of course the computers recording it all.
That’s something to be praised, loudly and at length.
Praiseworthy, too, is Rudder’s writing, which is consistently zingy and mercifully free of Silicon Valley business gabble."—Jordan Ellenberg, Washington Post"As a researcher, Mr.
He shows you, in short, how to think about data."—Wall Street Journal"Rudder is the co-founder of the dating site OKCupid and the data scientist behind its now-legendary trend analyses, but he is also — as it becomes immediately clear from his elegant writing and wildly cross-disciplinary references — a lover of literature, philosophy, anthropology, and all the other humanities that make us human and that, importantly in this case, enhance and ennoble the hard data with dimensional insight into the richness of the human experience..extraordinarily unusual and dimensional lens on what Carl Sagan memorably called ‘the aggregate of our joy and suffering.’"—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings"Fascinating, funny, and occasionally howl-inducing...[Rudder] is a quant with soul, and we’re lucky to have him."—Elle "There's another side of Big Data you haven't seen—not the one that promised to use our digital world to our advantage to optimize, monetize, or systematize every last part our lives.