Just read “Weapons of Math Destruction”

weaponsmath-r4-6-06I’ve been talking a lot about data in my classes, but this book, by Cathy O’Neil (aka Mathbabe), has made me rethink a lot of things, including how data can be used to keep the wealth and income gap firmly in place.

Here’s one fer-instance: If you live in a poor neighborhood, algorithms will measure you less capable of playing off a loan than someone who lives in a high-resource neighborhood. Now, you may be as ready to pay off a loan as any one else, but there you are, caught in an algorithm. The same goes for college admissions.

I love books that make me think.

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2 responses to “Just read “Weapons of Math Destruction”

  1. Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
    (Usually attributed to Albert Einstein, but there’s no hard evidence for that.)

    If you torture the data long enough, it will confess.
    Ronald Coase, Economist

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