Book Review, Posts

Factfulness – Hans Rosling

Factfulness
Audible Audio-book
  • TitleFactfulness – 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

Book Review

Factfulness is about how to get the world right. In a fast-changing world, where our brains are bombarded with a large amount of information all the time, this book helps the reader to build a fact-based view about the global events and issues. It provides some basic mental tools, that can be used by individuals (as individuals, or members in organizations and governments) to elaborate more insightful opinions and to take better decisions. The book 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 has not updated their information since then. He proves this fact by a series of tests (multiple answer questions) like the following one taken from the book:QCM_Factfullnessand the gives you the right answer, with the percentage people who answered correctly in several countries as follows.

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Book Review, Posts

Everybody Lies – Seth Stephens

EverybodyLies
Audible Audio-book
  • 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

Book Review

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?

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