Title: Factfulness – Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World and Why Things Are Better Than You Think.
Authors: Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund
Publication Date: 2018
Recommendation Score: 5/5
Factfulness is about how to get the world right. In a fast-changing world, our brains are bombarded with a large amount of information all the time. This book gives insights about how to deal with data and build a fact-based view of global events and issues. It provides some mental tools for individuals, organizations, and governments to make better decisions. Factfulness is full of eye-opening facts and is very pleasant to read.
Hans Rosling, the main author, argues that young people today see the world and think about it, as it was several decades ago (when their professors were young), and that older people have not updated their information since then. We would like to think about the world in a static way, whereas it is changing continuously and at a faster pace. He proves this by a series of tests (multiple answer questions) like the following one taken from the book:
and gives you the right answer, with the percentage of people who answered correctly in several countries as follows.
Title: Everybody Lies – Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are
Author: Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
Publication Date: 2017
Recommendation Score: 3.5/5
The key idea of the book is the following: people lie to everyone, but when they are alone in front of Google, they confess their deepest secrets. Therefore, using Google (anonymous) research data is very helpful in several domains, including social sciences, medicine, marketing, political campaigns, etc.
The book is divided into 3 parts. The first two parts emphasize the importance of data, and the fact that almost ‘anything’ can be data; pictures, words, any real-world measurements, etc. The author gives interesting insights about the potential uses of Big Data. However, in some paragraphs, the importance and usefulness of Big Data seems to be exaggerated. In other paragraphs, some evident facts (in 2017) about data are presented as new discoveries.
The last part of the book is the most important part to me. It deals with questions such as: how do we handle Big Data? Can we trust all data? What data? Data correlation vs. causality, how much is data relevant? Big Data and the empowerment of corporations and governments?