Longlisted for the National Book Award New York Times Bestseller A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life — and threaten to rip apart our social fabric We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated. But as Cathy O’Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can’t get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip code), he’s then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a “toxic cocktail for democracy.” Welcome to the dark side of Big Data. Tracing the arc of a person’s life, O’Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These “weapons of math destruction” score teachers and students, sort résumés, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health. O’Neil calls on modelers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it’s up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change. — Longlist for National Book Award (Non-Fiction) — Goodreads, semi-finalist for the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards (Science and Technology) — Kirkus, Best Books of 2016 — New York Times, 100 Notable Books of 2016 (Non-Fiction) — The Guardian, Best Books of 2016 — WBUR's "On Point," Best Books of 2016: Staff Picks — Boston Globe, Best Books of 2016, Non-Fiction
weapons of math destruction
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Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, or Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), present a serious danger in today’s world. This pertinent and topical volume takes a hard-headed look at the threat that India could face from these weapons. A great deal of literature exists on international regimes and their attempts to curb the proliferation of WMD. For a number of years the national effort seemed to be confined to relying solely on these international regimes to ensure the safety of the nation. This book is groundbreaking in that it concentrates more on the protection of society and the armed forces against both state and non-state actors armed with WMD, and less on the international regimes. Additionally, the book offers a detailed checklist for the formulation of a national strategy to protect the people of India from WMD agents, while suggesting a counter-proliferation strategy. With contributions from leading analysts in the field, some of the important issues that are discussed here include: - The danger that WMD pose to governments and to the populace at large. - The actual threat of WMD and the scenarios that India needs to guard against. - Whether India faces a greater WMD threat from state or non-state actors. - The possible protective measures that can be undertaken to guard against these threats. - The position that the Indian government needs to take in international fora while addressing international initiatives to prevent the use of WMD.
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Imagine falling for someone who can fly you through the air. Imagine loving someone who can see your darkest thoughts. Imagine having secrets that could destroy the things you cherish . . . Midnight in Bixby hides more than one secret, and uncovering them will put Jessica and her friends in more danger than they could have imagined. The Midnighters aren't the only ones seeking truth in the darkness. And if the group allow their own secrets to come between them they risk losing one of their own - forever.
Loyalty to a great cause raises some of the most profound issues in philosophy, and loyalty to the greatest of all causes, the Boston Red Sox, poses these questions in the sharpest possible way. The Red Sox and Philosophy brings together a team of thirty of America's leading thinkers (twenty-eight of them citizens of Red Sox Nation), to unravel some of the mysteries of the Red Sox. Can we adapt Anselm's proof of the existence of God to prove that the Red Sox are the greatest conceivable sports team? Why are Red Sox fans moral heroes? Can the science of sabermetrics be reconciled with the religion of baseball? Are pink Red Sox hats rationally defensible? These and other challenging problems are solved in The Red Sox and Philosophy. - Publisher.