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Statistics

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  1. 6.4 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on mathematical modeling—a pervasive new force in society that threatens to undermine democracy and widen inequality.   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 shocking 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 race or neighborhood), 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, from college to retirement, O’Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. Models that score teachers and students, sort resumes, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health—all have pernicious feedback loops. They don’t simply describe reality, as proponents claim, they change reality, by expanding or limiting the opportunities people have. O’Neil calls on modelers to take more responsibility for how their algorithms are being used. 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.

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    Weapons of Math Destruction

    6.4 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 6.9 hrs • 9/6/2016 • Unabridged

    A primer to the critical thinking that is more necessary now than ever. We are bombarded with more information each day than our brains can process—especially in election season. It’s raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies. New York Times bestselling author Daniel J. Levitin shows how to recognize misleading announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports revealing the ways lying weasels can use them. It’s becoming harder to separate the wheat from the digital chaff. How do we distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, distortions, and outright lies from reliable information? Levitin groups his field guide into two categories—statistical infomation and faulty arguments—ultimately showing how science is the bedrock of critical thinking. Infoliteracy means understanding that there are hierarchies of source quality and bias that variously distort our information feeds via every media channel, including social media. We may expect newspapers, bloggers, the government, and Wikipedia to be factually and logically correct, but they so often aren’t. We need to think critically about the words and numbers we encounter if we want to be successful at work, at play, and in making the most of our lives. This means checking the plausibility and reasoning—not passively accepting information, repeating it, and making decisions based on it. Readers learn to avoid the extremes of passive gullibility and cynical rejection. Levitin’s charming, entertaining, accessible guide can help anyone wake up to a whole lot of things that aren’t so. And catch some lying weasels in their tracks!

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    A Field Guide to Lies

    6.9 hrs • 9/6/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 3.0 hrs • 2/10/2016 • Unabridged

    Now available in audio for the first time! Darrell Huff’s celebrated classic How to Lie with Statistics is a straight-forward and engaging guide to understanding the manipulation and misrepresentation of information that could be lurking behind every graph, chart, and infographic. Originally published in 1954, it remains as relevant and necessary as ever in our digital world where information is king—and as easy to distort and manipulate as it is to access. A precursor to modern popular science books like Steven D. Levitt’s Freakonomics and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, Huff runs the gamut of every popularly used type of statistic, probes such things as the sample study, the tabulation method, the interview technique, or the way the results are derived from the figures, and points up the countless number of dodges which are used to full rather than to inform. Critically acclaimed by media outlets like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, How to Lie with Statistics stands as the go-to book for understanding the use of statistics by teachers and leaders everywhere.

    Available Formats: Download, CD

    How to Lie with Statistics

    3.0 hrs • 2/10/16 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD
  4. 6.5 hrs • 3/10/2015 • Unabridged

    Steve Lohr, a technology reporter for the New York Times, chronicles the rise of “Big Data,” addressing cutting-edge business strategies and examining the dark side of a data-driven world. Coal, iron ore, and oil were the key productive assets that fueled the Industrial Revolution. Today data is the vital raw material of the information economy. The explosive abundance of this digital asset, more than doubling every two years, is creating a new world of opportunity and challenge. Data-ism is about this next phase in which vast, Internet-scale data sets are used for discovery and prediction in virtually every field. It is a journey across this emerging world with people, illuminating narrative examples, and insights. It shows that, if exploited, this new revolution will change the way decisions are made—relying more on data and analysis and less on intuition and experience—and transform the nature of leadership and management. Steve Lohr explains how individuals and institutions will need to exploit, protect, and manage their data to stay competitive in the coming years. Filled with rich examples and anecdotes of the various ways in which the rise of “Big Data” is affecting our daily lives, Data-ism raises provocative questions about policy and practice that have wide implications for all of our lives.

    Available Formats: Download, CD

    Data-ism

    6.5 hrs • 3/10/15 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD
  5. 12.7 hrs • 9/20/2011 • Unabridged

    A comprehensive guide to measuring anything and everything, from the concrete to the intangible, revealing the power of measurement in our understanding of business and the world at large Anything can be measured. This bold assertion is the key to solving many problems in business and life in general. The myth that certain things can’t be measured is a significant drain on our nation’s economy, public welfare, the environment, and even national security. In fact, the chances are good that some part of your life or your professional responsibilities is greatly harmed by a lack of measurement—by you, your firm, or even your government. Building up from simple concepts to illustrate the hands-on yet intuitively easy application of advanced statistical techniques, How to Measure Anything reveals the power of measurement in our understanding of business and the world at large. This insightful and engaging book shows you how to measure those things in your business that until now you may have considered “immeasurable,” including technology ROI, organizational flexibility, customer satisfaction, and technology risk. Offering examples that will get you to attempt measurements—even when it seems impossible—this book provides you with the substantive steps for measuring anything, especially uncertainty and risk. Don’t wait—listen to this book and find out:The three reasons why things may seem immeasurable but are notInspirational examples of where seemingly impossible measurements were resolved with surprisingly simple methodsHow computing the value of information will show that you probably have been measuring all the wrong thingsHow not to measure riskMethods for measuring “soft” things like happiness, satisfaction, quality, and moreHow to fine-tune human judges to be powerful, calibrated measurement instrumentsHow you can use the Internet as an instrument of measurement A complete resource with case studies, How to Measure Anything illustrates how author Douglas Hubbard—creator of applied information economics—has used his approach across various industries. You’ll learn how any problem, no matter how difficult, ill-defined, or uncertain, can lend itself to measurement using proven methods. Straightforward and easy-to-follow, this is the resource you’ll refer to again and again—beyond measure.

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    How to Measure Anything

    12.7 hrs • 9/20/11 • Unabridged
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