Big Data is used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us things we don’t need. In ‘Dataclysm’, Christian Rudder puts this flood of information to an entirely different use: understanding human nature. Drawing on terabytes of data from Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, OkCupid, and many other sites, Rudder examines the terrain of human experience to answer a range of questions: Does it matter where you went to school? How racist are we? How do political views alter relationships? Philosophers, psychologists, gene hunters and neuroscientists have tried to explain our flaws and foibles. Rudder shows that in today’s era of social media, a powerful
new approach is possible, one that reveals how we actually behave when we think no one’s looking.
Outrageous and illuminating, ‘Dataclysm’, is a portrait of our essential selves – dark, absurd, occasionally noble – and a first look at a revolution in the making.
Reviews of Dataclysm
‘”Dataclysm” is a book full of juicy secrets – secrets about who we love, what we crave, why we like, and how we change each other’s minds and lives, often without even knowing it. Christian Rudder makes this mathematical narrative of our culture fun to read and even more fun to discuss: You will find yourself sharing these intriguing data-driven revelations with everyone you know.’ Jane McGonigal, author of “Reality is Broken”
‘In the first few pages of “Dataclysm”, Christian Rudder uses massive amounts of actual behavioural data to prove what I always believed in my heart: Belle and Sebastian is the whitest band ever. It only gets better from there.’ Aziz Ansari
‘Studying human behaviour is a little like exploring a jungle: it’s messy, hard, and easy to lose your way. But Christian Rudder is a consummate guide, revealing essential truths about who we are. Big Data has never been so fun.’ Dan Ariely
‘Christian Rudder has written an absurd, funny, and profound book about important issues. Race, love, sex – you name it. Are we the sum of the data we produce? Read this book immediately and see if you can answer the question.’ Errol Morris
‘It’s unheard of for a book about Big Data to read like a guilty pleasure, but “Dataclysm” does. It’s a fascinating, almost voyeuristic look at who we really are and what we really want.’ Steven Strogatz, Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics, Cornell University, and author of “The Joy of x”
‘Big Data can be like a 3D movie without 3D glasses – you know there’s a lot going on but you’re mainly just disoriented. We should feel fortunate to have an interpreter as skilled (and funny) as Christian Rudder. “Dataclysm” is filled with insights that boil down Big Data into byte-sized revelations.’ Michael Norton, Harvard Business School, coauthor of “Happy Money”