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The Numerati


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About the Author

STEPHEN BAKER was BusinessWeek's senior technology writer for a decade, based first in Paris and later New York. He has also written for the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal. Roger Lowenstein called his first book, The Numerati, an eye-opening and chilling book. Baker blogs at finaljeopardy.net.


A highly readable and fascinating account of the number-driven world we now live in. The Wall Street Journal

[A] bracing behind-the-screen investigation into the booming world of data mining and analysis . . . fascinating. Booklist, ALA, Starred Review Highly recommended for general readers with an appreciation for contemporary cultural phenomenons. Library Journal An eye-opening read for even the techiest among us. Bookpage Deserve[s] a spot on your shelf. Steve Rubel, AdAge A well-considered take on a hard-to-grasp subject. Kirkus Reviews Stephen Baker could have easily gone for spooky in this depiction of the Numerati . . . but Baker's deep reportage goes beyond smart shopping carts that entice us to run up our grocery bills and political messages crafted on our preference for Chianti . . . The Numerati, Baker writes, try to model 'something almost hopelessly complex: human life and behavior.' They're making progress. Time Magazine 'The Numerati' is a book about math that won't cause liberal-arts majors to heave it across the room. The slender volume contains not a single esoteric Greek letter or mystifying equation. What's more, writer Stephen Baker artfully conjures up vivid images to explain what he's talking about and why a reader should care. Christian Science Monitor Utterly fascinating . . . Baker, a veteran journalist at BusinessWeek, manages to explain this cutting edge phenomenon and its sometimes-frightening impacts in accessible prose . . . Baker also does not shy from potential problems with all this data mining and analysis . . . Baker's accessible prose and analysis illuminate this startling new world and its potential problems. Seattle Post-Intelligencer 'The Numerati' is a kind of travelogue, a report from the shadowy regions where data mining, the search for new algorithms and the divination for the hidden meanings disclosed by our choices animates a type of research that was impossible to imagine before the computer . . . an interesting book . . . Baker knows well that the Numerati cannot answer the big questions, like where do we go from here? But perhaps they can help us avoid falling off whatever cliffs we decide to peer over. The Oregonian Crisp, well-reported ... Baker writes with smooth and accessible assurance. - San Francisco Chronicle An eye-opening and chilling book. - Portfolio Baker singles out the danger to privacy the Numerati and their techniques represent, but he doesn't take sides. He also points out the advantage of Amazon knowing what books you want, or an insurance company offering discounts to drivers who install electronic monitoring equipment in their cars . . . still, he paints a pretty scary picture. - Chicago Sun-Times Deserve[s] a spot on your shelf . . . Baker details how companies are hiring math geeks to dissect and make sense of mountains of data to spot everything from consumer patterns to future terrorists. -- Steve Rubel, AdAge 'The Numerati' is fascinating and a bit frightening -- a well-written consideration of why you might want to drive a different way to work every now and then, or buy ginger ale rather than Coke, just to throw 'them' off a little. -- Utah Daily Herald

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