Book Chat: Big Data | Summary and Q&A

July 13, 2018
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Book Chat: Big Data


The content discusses three books - "To Save Everything, Click Here" by Evgeny Morozov, "The Rhetoric of Economics" by Deirdre McCloskey, and "Fatal Invention" by Dorothy Roberts - exploring the topics of big data, philosophy of technology, and racial categories in medicine and surveillance.

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Key Insights

  • 🪡 The philosophy of technology warns against fetishizing openness and transparency, emphasizing the need for meaningful action and change instead.
  • 😯 Economics can be examined as a mode of persuasive speech, analyzing the metaphorical language and authorial voice used in economic papers.
  • 🥺 The creation of racial categories can lead to false assumptions and perpetuation of inequalities, as seen in the field of medicine and surveillance.
  • 🧬 DNA evidence is not foolproof, and false positives can disproportionately affect marginalized communities.
  • ❓ The rhetoric of mainstream economics differs from that of Marxist economics, primarily due to their different conceptions of value.
  • 😒 The historical creation of racial categories reveals their arbitrary nature and highlights their use as tools for regulation and exclusion.
  • ❓ The belief in the precise technical solutions offered by technology can overlook the complexity and ambiguity of societal problems.


hello friends it's time once again to talk about the last few books I've been reading and our theme today is Big Data how do we gather data how do we interpret data how do we create information as we perceive it how can that lead us philosophically astray and the first book I want to share with you is Evgeny Morozov to save everything click here th... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What are the main ideas presented in "To Save Everything, Click Here"?

The book critiques the belief that technology can solve all problems, cautioning that some issues are complex and require a nuanced approach. It also discusses how openness and transparency can be misused and fetishized.

Q: How does "The Rhetoric of Economics" analyze economic papers?

The book argues that economic papers are acts of persuasion and can be examined through a literary lens. It explores the metaphorical language, authorial voice, and persuasive techniques used in these papers.

Q: What topics are covered in "Fatal Invention"?

The book delves into the concept of race and its use in medicine and surveillance. It explores issues related to DNA testing, racial categorization, historical creation of racial categories, and the flaws and limitations of DNA evidence.

Q: What is the main concern highlighted in "Fatal Invention" regarding DNA databases?

The book raises concerns about false positives in DNA databases and the disproportionate impact on people of color. It also criticizes the collection of DNA from individuals who haven't been charged or convicted of a crime.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The first book, "To Save Everything, Click Here," delves into the philosophy of technology, emphasizing the dangers of fetishizing openness and transparency and the limited scope of "solutionism".

  • "The Rhetoric of Economics" examines economics as a mode of persuasive speech and analyzes famous economic papers through a literary lens.

  • "Fatal Invention" explores how the concept of race is used in medicine and the surveillance industry, discussing the creation of racial categories and the limitations and flaws of DNA testing.

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