Category Archives: Reviews

Book Review – Habeas Data

By | March 7, 2021

In Habeas Data, Cyrus Farivar does a fantastic job of recapping many of the key privacy-related court cases over the last century that either served as precedents or are useful background for understanding some of the most important data privacy issues of our time. While the legal jargon can be overwhelming for someone without much… Read More »

Book Review – Human Compatible

By | December 26, 2020

By Stuart  Russell Although it was published several years after Bostrom’s Superintelligence, I recommend reading Human Compatible first. Russell covers similar ground with respect to the problem of control over a superintelligence but in a style that I think most interested readers will find easier to follow and more insightful. If you then want a… Read More »

Book Review – Factfulness

By | April 11, 2020

Given that I was reading Factfulness during the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, the book was a pleasant release from the bitter news each day, even though Ebola, tuberculosis, the swine flu, and the Spanish flu play important roles in the book. In chapter ten in the section “The five global risks we should… Read More »

Book Review – AIQ

By | November 12, 2019

AIQ by Nick Polson and James Scott is a book I would have loved to have written. I often give talks to non-engineers on the core ideas behind machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence. It took me many months to refine the material but I think it is possible to convey the core ideas… Read More »

Book Review – Everybody Lies

By | February 18, 2018

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a deeply analytical, and yet hilarious, look at what Internet users tell us through their behaviors, as opposed to what they might directly tell us if we asked them. Stephens-Davidowitz digs deep into… Read More »

Book Review – Reinventing American Healthcare

By | January 18, 2018

Reinventing American Healthcare is a pleasurable antidote to the ongoing misinformation about the ACA and the US healthcare system. In Part 1, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel describes in great detail how the American healthcare system has evolved into its current overly complex state, riddled with misaligned incentives. As has happened in other industries, well-intentioned changes resulted… Read More »

Book Review – An American Sickness

By | December 28, 2017

An American Sickness is a meticulously reported book on the troubled US healthcare industry. Rosenthal clearly lays out deeply compelling facts, but the book is much more than that. She weaves in a fantastic collection of her personal stories and those of many others regarding significant impacts on their lives from complex and unjustifiably high… Read More »

Book Review – Naked Statistics

By | October 31, 2015

In Naked Statistics, Charles Whelan does a great, and often very funny, job of not only explaining statistics in very simple terms, but also explaining why you should understand statistics. Statistics can be used to simplify complex situations to a small set of indexes or metrics, many of which are meaningful only for relative comparisons.… Read More »

Book Review – Mind Wide Open

By | September 8, 2015

I like the first hand, get involved, stick my head into a large object style of science writing that characterizes Mind Wide Open. While perhaps not as personal as when Mary Roach had sex with her husband during a functional MRI in Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, I think Johnson deserves some… Read More »

Book Review – The Brewmaster’s Table

By | August 30, 2015

Although it took two attempts separated by over a year for me to read the entirety of The Brewmaster’s Table, it was time very well spent. Garrett Oliver has written the best book I’ve read on beer and food pairing. In addition, it’s a fantastic introduction to how beer is made, including in depth discussions… Read More »