Enjoy this title right now, plus millions more, with a free trial

Only $9.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are


Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are

ratings:
4.5/5 (463 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 2, 2017
ISBN:
9780062563538
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

BookSnapshot

Also available as...

BookSnapshot

Description

Foreword by Steven Pinker

Blending the informed analysis of The Signal and the Noise with the instructive iconoclasm of Think Like a Freak, a fascinating, illuminating, and witty look at what the vast amounts of information now instantly available to us reveals about ourselves and our world-provided we ask the right questions.

By the end of on average day in the early twenty-first century, human beings searching the internet will amass eight trillion gigabytes of data. This staggering amount of information-unprecedented in history-can tell us a great deal about who we are-the fears, desires, and behaviors that drive us, and the conscious and unconscious decisions we make. From the profound to the mundane, we can gain astonishing knowledge about the human psyche that less than twenty years ago, seemed unfathomable.

Everybody Lies offers fascinating, surprising, and sometimes laugh-out-loud insights into everything from economics to ethics to sports to race to sex, gender and more, all drawn from the world of big data. What percentage of white voters didn't vote for Barack Obama because he's black? Does where you go to school effect how successful you are in life? Do parents secretly favor boy children over girls? Do violent films affect the crime rate? Can you beat the stock market? How regularly do we lie about our sex lives and who's more self-conscious about sex, men or women?

Investigating these questions and a host of others, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz offers revelations that can help us understand ourselves and our lives better. Drawing on studies and experiments on how we really live and think, he demonstrates in fascinating and often funny ways the extent to which all the world is indeed a lab. With conclusions ranging from strange-but-true to thought-provoking to disturbing, he explores the power of this digital truth serum and its deeper potential-revealing biases deeply embedded within us, information we can use to change our culture, and the questions we're afraid to ask that might be essential to our health-both emotional and physical. All of us are touched by big data everyday, and its influence is multiplying. Everybody Lies challenges us to think differently about how we see it and the world.

Publisher:
Released:
May 2, 2017
ISBN:
9780062563538
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

BookSnapshot

About the author

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times, a lecturer at The Wharton School, and a former Google data scientist. He received a BA from Stanford and a PhD from Harvard. His research has appeared in the Journal of Public Economics and other prestigious publications. He lives in New York City.


Related to Everybody Lies

Related Audiobooks

Related Articles


Reviews

What people think about Everybody Lies

4.5
463 ratings / 55 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Critic reviews

  • "Everybody Lies" is the new "Freakonomics." As a former data scientist at Google, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has a deep understanding of our psyche and the questions we desperately want answered. He provides an unfiltered look at what we're all really doing, online and off.

    Scribd Editors

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Smart and entertaining. Good and simple book about big data analysis with real cases
  • (2/5)
    Hard to tell if the author does good science because he does such uninteresting writing. I can imagine another book that could be so pleased with itself and, at the same time, so calculatingly composed to fulfill a contractual obligation. There is very little that is remarkable here, except for perhaps the author's obsession with porn. But even those endlessly prurient sections felt like someone trying to get more clicks for a lightweight article rather than actually contributing to the overarching theory of a book.

    This was weak, sub-Gladwell, smug pop science. Not recommended.
  • (4/5)
    In Everybody Lies, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explores the idea behind social desirability bias and how internet searches are helping Big Data paint a clearer picture about society. In short:Many people under-report embarrassing behaviors and thoughts on surveys. They want to look good, even though most surveys are anonymous.Stephens-Davidowitz posits that while people may lie to anonymous surveys they tend to type their true feelings and intentions into Google searches. It is this vast sum of new data that will allow researchers to make better predictions and offers brand new tools to allow insight all aspects of human behavior that direct questioning never could. It's a fascinating idea and the book provides plenty of food for thought. The new age of Big Data is starting to show how wrong many of our assumptions about society are. How Google searches predicted Donald Trump's victory to common body anxieties to why people root for specific sports teams to the value of attending an elite high school to zooming in on health data and how it could change the way we receive care. It's eerie and a bit creepy when you stop and think about what people type into an internet search box, how much of that data is being captured and just what that data is starting to say about society. On the flip side, the author notes that Big Data has many pitfalls and it's a fairly new science that is still in its infancy.
  • (4/5)
    The biggest appeal of books like these for me is finding out all the things that I thought I knew were false. The author shares a great sample of interesting things that illustrate the ways really big data groups can teach us things about ourselves that we didn't know or didn't want to know. This work did make me wonder if I should get off the internet and stay off!
  • (4/5)
    Jam-packed with "who'd have thought it?" insights based on his professional data analysis skills, and reams of data, mostly Google searches. A wowser on nearly every page, many which you can't resist sharing. What's the magic age for a person to be for his team's World Series win to make him a lifelong fan? How could you have predicted where Trump would win based on offensive Google searches? Like Freakonomics meets Malcolm Gladwell. Fun!
  • (4/5)
    This book provides plenty of food for thought and ambitious in its scope - the author uses Google search data to present theories about why Donald Trump was elected president, the prevalence of racism in American society, the value of attending an elite high school, how to determine a good sport player, and more topics both grand and petty. It's all presented in an engaging manner and helps one make sense of what some of the trends identified mean. It also can sometimes be a little creepy if one thinks about how often we interact with internet services (Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc) and the amount of data that is recorded about our behavior (even if it's largely anonymous data gathering).
  • (5/5)
    This book is in that particular genre where the author tries to make his or her area of expertise (often physics for some reason, though clearly not in this case) palatable and accessible to the "common (wo)man." These types of books fail when the author doesn't dumb it down enough or dumbs it down too much. Stephens-Davidowitz's area is economics/social science by way of Big Data, and he dumbs it down just the right amount.At the beginning of the book, my inner skeptic was anxiously asking about correlation vs causation and how people can know they're asking the right questions of the right data. By the end of the book, Stephens-Davidowitz had satisfactorily addressed most of my initial concerns and provided some insight into data science, social science, and some aspects of human nature along the way. Plus, the book made me laugh (well, chuckle) out loud more than a few times, which means I was pretty engaged and is not bad for a book about data science.Some notes: - The subtitle ("Big Data, new data, and what the internet can tell us about who we really are") is slightly misleading. While much of the book does rely on search queries (predominately Google) and Twitter and Facebook updates, plenty of the analysis and studies rely on non-internet data sources. Stephens-Davidowitz is clearly excited about all of the new ways to use all of the new internet data, but the overall focus of the book is on Big Data of all kinds and its powers and drawbacks.- Some chapters illustrate the fact that people admit things on the internet they would not admit elsewhere. Issues addressed include porn preferences and racism, both discussed in detail, and child abuse, discussed in less detail. Although the possible conclusions range from unsavory to downright depressing, the topics are relevant to addressing the book's points about data and social science; however, worth noting because some readers will be sensitive to these topics.(Thank you, Dey Street Books and GoodReads for the ARC.)
  • (5/5)
    It's hard to imagine a book written mostly based on what people entered in Google search, but the author ingeniously used this easy-to-obtain repository to find many things about us.Obtaining an authentic source of data is key to any data analysis. He rightly argues that people are less truthful to their closest aides/partners, but disclose their honest feelings to a search engine. I'm guilty myself, so much so, that I'm cautious of what I enter in the search bar now.. well not quite, I'll probably continue being myself.There's a disclaimer on what Big Data cannot do and how it should not be used. The author also warns us of jumping to conclusions just because our data set was large.I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and will wait for Everybody (still) lies.
  • (5/5)
    Everybody lies, and a lot of the conventional wisdom cast at us is also a lie. This book breaks new ground itself. Moreover, it shows just how much new ground is being broken in the field of big data analytics. As an experienced data analyst, what I most appreciated is Stephens-Davidowitz's ability to show how it's not so much the bigness of modern data that matters, but the new sources and our improved ways of approaching problems. From Google searches to sentiment analysis, we can tell things about ourselves that weren't possible even ten years ago. The emerging picture is proving out that we fool others and even ourselves quite often.
  • (5/5)
    Entertaining and interesting. Maybe jumping to conclusions a little fast, e.g. Obama lost four percent of votes in areas with racist searches. He often takes google searches to be random samples of people's thoughts, which they are not, and often does not seem not to worry about selection in who searches and why. Fun: seeming breastfeeding wife fetish in India, vagina smell most searched by women, English vs Spanish autocomplete with pregnant wife; but could discuss more what drives results. Falsifiable Freud: phallos shaped fruit like banana and cucumber not more common than other fruits and vegetables in dreams. But this does not really falsify, everything may mean something. Better on Freudian slips - typing errors with sexual connotations not unusual compared to random. But a Freudian will presumably still believe it does mean something when a human commits such an error... The book loses focus somewhat when starting to talk about big data generally. Good and sober section on the dangers and desirability/fairness of using big data information to assess loan applications etc. Recommended.
  • (5/5)
    personally I don't often write reviews, however I do not usually come across a book with such a possibility of impact.
    the book gets off a bit slowly as the author tries to teach his point rather than than simply taking the reader along, however it is a point well worth learning.
  • (5/5)
    Definetly worth reading. I am waiting for the next book. Very informative and interesting. If one wants to know waht data science is all about, this is the book to start with...
  • (4/5)
    me pareció muy honesto el autor en todos los puntos que intenta hacer. nos demuestra como en la privacidad de nuestro hogar muchas veces comentamos con un motor de búsqueda cosas que ni siquiera comment haríamos con nuestros amigos más íntimos. también me pareció muy gracioso y un poco cínica la forma en la cual rehusa el autor hacer una conclusión de peso, ya que como el mismo lo indica los datos grandes apuntan a que de todas formas la mayoría de las personas no llegarán a leer hasta el final un tratado de un economista.
  • (5/5)
    Great read with tons of important learnings. In the age of artificial intelligence, data decides almost everything for us. so you better understand what it means in practice. This book helps you understand the implications.
  • (4/5)
    Very interesting book, it open your eyes for new facts and science.
  • (5/5)
    Great book and mind changer! little bit repititive though but I did like it very much :)
  • (5/5)
    como estudiante de informática me resulta inspirador.
    as computer science student I found it inspiring.
  • (3/5)
    Good material. There's much more data available for consumption and rapid testing. Use caution. Causation vs correlation. Good content, very long delivery.
  • (5/5)
    Fantastic book. Contrasts the present day scientific methodology that leverages Google and internet,with the conventional methodology of the not-so-distant past.
  • (5/5)
    Reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell. Seldom do I come across books like this that blow my mind. It’s a very interesting read and certainly shouldn’t be missed.
  • (5/5)
    This book is easy to follow, its structure is pretty suitable for daily commute.
  • (5/5)
    Fun, interesting and gives an urge to just crunch data for potential correlations!
  • (4/5)
    It's a fascinating book that uses some clever examples and studies to illustrate the power of big data. It also tries to draw a different definition of the term "Big Data" and educates us to think of different facets of Data and the power in It's a fascinating book that uses some clever examples and studies to illustrate the power of big data. It also tries to draw a different definition of the term "Big Data" and educates us to think of the different facets of Data and the power in harnessing if systematically. Enjoyable read.
  • (4/5)
    Good book. Big numbers tell stories. Some examples are more for US readers though. Overall well entertained.
  • (5/5)
    Very interesting and eye opening! It’s hard to get through books with so much data, but this was to good not to see the end.
  • (5/5)
    Fascinating topic. Funny and poignant. Great conclusion! Would definitely recommend it to anyone who uses the Internet. By that I mean everyone.
  • (3/5)
    A very relevant take on how statistical correlations coming from our Google searches provide insights on our preferences and expected behaviours, especially in topics where everybody lies to surveys and even ourselves. It develops basics from data science and big data, and the ethical conundrums of the data power that we are providing (without us realising) to the tech giant corporations (or anybody able to retrieve them). A playful take worth to increase awareness on the importance of digital data. Also, to look for new potential benefits, we can extract as a society from these tools, beyond maximising enterprises profits. And a reminder of the big gap will always exist between what we say, and what we do.
  • (4/5)
    Report on humen Google searches taken too far..or may be not. But is a new tool to monitor trends definitely. Cool and candid piece of work. But not waiting for authors next...definitely.
  • (5/5)
    filled with insights, wits and brilliance. must read for all who's curious about data science and what it can do for the human race.
  • (5/5)
    Succinct, eloquent, entertaining exposition of how big data can inform us at a deep level about how the world works. I hope the author writes another.