Everybody Lies Book Summary - Everybody Lies Book explained in key points
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Everybody Lies summary

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Big Data, New Data and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are

4 (129 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a fascinating exploration of the insights we can gain from big data. Based on Google searches and anonymous online behavior, the book challenges our assumptions about human nature and exposes the truth about what people really think and do.

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    Everybody Lies
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    Data science is more intuitive than you think.

    You’ve heard the term, but what exactly is big data?

    The clue is in the name. Big data refers to an immense volume of data. A volume that’s so vast, in fact, that the human mind can hardly comprehend it. In other word, big data is data for which computational power is required to recognize patterns. Paradoxically, however, despite its remarkable scale, data science has an intuitive aspect to it. After all, if you think about it, we’re all data scientists in a way.

    The author points to his grandmother. One Thanksgiving, she started suggesting to the author what his ideal partner should be like – at least as far as she was concerned! The partner needed to be clever, nice, funny, sociable and pretty (though no supermodels needed apply).

    At 88, his grandma had seen plenty of relationships come and go. She was using years of information and data gathering to articulate the characteristics she saw as essential in successful relationships. She was utilizing information to spot patterns and predict how certain variables would impact one another – just as a data scientist would.

    However, although data science is an intuitive process, intuition itself isn’t actually science. That’s why utilizing gathered data correctly is essential to refining one’s worldview. Data provides us with the material to confirm or rebut our initial gut feelings. It helps us identify more precise patterns and predictions than personal experience alone ever could.

    Let’s return to grandma; she was convinced that relationships last longer if partners have mutual friends. This notion was based on her own experience, as she and her husband had spent many an evening with their friends in Queens, New York.

    But in reality, her sample size was too small and the hard data suggests that she was mistaken. A 2014 study by Lars Backstrom and Jon Kleinberg, based on Facebook data, showed couples with more friends in common were more likely to change their relationship status from “in a relationship” to “single.”

    This goes to show that though a gut feeling may get us far, data refine even the most intuitive person’s perspective.

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    What is Everybody Lies about?

    Everybody Lies (2017) is about the data collected in vast quantities by computers and over the internet. This data can help reveal fascinating information about the human psyche, behavior and quirks, because, as it turns out, people aren’t always so willing to communicate their true hopes and desires to others.

    Everybody Lies Review

    Everybody Lies (2017) is a fascinating exploration of the hidden truths we reveal online and what they say about our society. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With a data-driven approach, it uncovers surprising insights about human behavior, challenging conventional wisdom and offering a fresh perspective.
    • By analyzing vast amounts of internet search data, the book reveals unfiltered truths that people may not openly admit, shedding light on our deepest desires and fears.
    • Through compelling storytelling and thought-provoking examples, it presents a thought-provoking examination of the digital age, making it a captivating read that is anything but boring.

    Who should read Everybody Lies?

    • Anyone interested in the complex nature of human behavior
    • Media studies experts and social scientists
    • Anyone concerned about the power of the internet and online privacy

    About the Author

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is an expert on internet data and big data in particular. He holds degrees from Stanford and Harvard Universities and worked previously as a data scientist at Google.

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    Everybody Lies FAQs 

    What is the main message of Everybody Lies?

    Everybody Lies reveals the hidden truths about human behavior through big data analysis.

    How long does it take to read Everybody Lies?

    It takes several hours to read Everybody Lies. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Everybody Lies a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Everybody Lies is definitely worth reading for its fascinating insights into human behavior.

    Who is the author of Everybody Lies?

    Everybody Lies is written by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.

    What to read after Everybody Lies?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Everybody Lies, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Born Liars by Ian Leslie
    • Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier
    • Find Out Anything From Anyone, Anytime by James O. Pyle and Maryann Karinch
    • Spy the Lie by Philip Houston
    • Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil
    • What Makes Us Human? by Charles Pasternak
    • Breaking Free From Broke by George Kamel
    • Age of Propaganda by Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson
    • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes