Review of Dataclysm

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8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


What’s the most fascinating subject in the whole world? You, of course. Christian Rudder, co-founder and president of the popular online dating site OkCupid, delves into personal data from myriad sources to create a detailed portrait of you – and everybody else. Rudder parses the data OkCupid members generate from their profiles, searches, choices of prospective dates and profiles they sought out but never contacted. He uses data from Facebook, Google, Craigslist, scholarly journals and other big data analysts. 

About the Author

Christian Rudder, co-founder and former president of OkCupid, also wrote the OkTrends blog. 


Rudder’s prose is amiable, readable, insightful and not at all pretentious. He feels a strong common humanity with OkCupid’s members and never condescends. His life is data. He presents his conclusions in prose, graphics and charts that are mostly easy to understand. He writes without any technocratic jargon, and his fascination with how people paint self-portraits with every click makes his material endearing even when it’s only intermittently involving. Which chapters you find most compelling will depend on whether you’re single and visit dating websites, or if you’re just interested in human behavior – online and offline. getAbstract recommends Rudder’s eye-opening – and at moments possibly embarrassing – deconstruction of the human side of big data to anyone on Facebook, OkCupid, Twitter, Reddit or any other social media – that is, to you and everyone like and unlike you.

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