Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking)

by Christian Rudder

“There will be more words written on Twitter in the next two years than contained in all books ever printed.”

Score: 7/10

One Million Page Princess

December 22nd, 2014

One Million Page Princess

December 22nd, 2014

Okay, SERIOUS overdose on quotes for this one. I know, and I get it. If you’re still reading this post then kudos to you. Let’s just say that it was very difficult to narrow down my favourite quotes from Dataclysm to just three.

Who we are, when we think no one’s watching… What an interesting concept. We are all aware of how much personal data we willingly put out there via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google, eHarmony, etc… So what happens when someone (in this case, Christian Rudder, a Harvard graduate with a degree in math and one of the founders of OKCupid) takes all of that data, and rather than using it to try and sell us stuff we don’t need, or unfortunately just plain old spy on us, (cough NSA cough) uses it to analyze and observe some very interesting aspects of human nature that we may or may not want to admit. Can Facebook “likes” really predict someone’s sexual orientation? Does Google Flu really work? Are white men most attracted to Asian women or Hispanic women? What do black women think about Simon and Garfunkel? (Hint, they don’t.)

Rudder dissects all of these questions and more in his book, and does it in a surprisingly eloquent and elegant way. He may have majored in mathematics, but this guy can write. While at times I found some of the facts, charts and statistics a bit much, overall I found it very interesting, and his fluid and conversational tone made it a pleasure to read. I hope the quotes I chose, albeit numerous, illustrate that.

If you’re looking for something nonfiction that is both thought provoking and enjoyable, check out Dataclysm going into 2015.

Until next time.



Favourite Quotes