My summary of "Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are"

Here is my summary of "Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are".

This book is all about analyzing Google searches, the only place where people tell the truth.
I love it because the author tested a lot of unusual predictions.  It leads to very fresh correlations and insights. In a phrase it shows how we are influenceable and how our brain is plastic. 

I picked some of my reading notes:

"When trying to make predictions, you needn’t worry too much about why your models work."

"A major reason that Google searches are so valuable is not that there are so many of them; it is that people are so honest in them. People lie to friends, lovers, doctors, surveys, and themselves. But on Google they might share embarrassing information, about, among other things, their sexless marriages, their mental health issues, their insecurities, and their animosity toward black people."

Many people underreport embarrassing behaviors and thoughts on surveys. They want to look good, even though most surveys are anonymous. This is called social desirability bias."

"More than 90 percent of college professors say they do above-average work."

"Many of the hateful, rageful searches against Muslims dropped in the hours after the president’s (Trump) address."

"The most important year in a man’s life, for the purposes of cementing his favorite baseball team as an adult, is when he is more or less eight years old."

"Silver noticed that the areas where Trump performed best made for an odd map. Trump performed well in parts of the Northeast and industrial Midwest, as well as the South. He performed notably worse out West. Silver looked for variables to try to explain this map. Was it unemployment? Was it religion? Was it gun ownership? Was it rates of immigration? Was it opposition to Obama? Silver found that the single factor that best correlated with Donald Trump’s support in the Republican primaries was that measure I had discovered four years earlier. Areas that supported Trump in the largest numbers were those that made the most Google searches for “nigger."

"The single most important year for developing political views: age eighteen."

"The economists could see exactly how many murders, rapes, and assaults were committed on weekends when a prominent violent movie was released and compare that to the number of murders, rapes, and assaults there were on weekends when a prominent peaceful movie was released."

More on Goodreads.