No Dark Magic

books, Sweden, and computers, not necessarily in any order

Data-ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

Posted at — Nov 27, 2019

Disappointing. Plenty of pages in the beginning of the book are dedicated to fanboying about Jeff Hammerbacher, and it comes back with a vengeance near the end, still not bringing much information about any actual topic. I don’t care what his parents' names are. I don’t care what he was wearing when the author interviewed him. I also happen to not care about itty-bitty details of some marketing campaign IBM couldn’t figure out ages ago (IBM gets the spotlight after Jeff).

In contrast, social implications (from privacy to jobs) are barely addressed, tucked into the last chapter almost as an afterthought, offering vague hand-wavy "eh" and not much else.

There are a few examples of using big data in areas like wine-making and medicine, but they’re buried in the raw data of who had which haircut and platitudes about greatness of technological change.


(256 pages, ISBN: 0062226819, Worldcat, Open Library)

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