Equal parts mathematician and political activist, Cathy O’Neil has calculated the impact of algorithms on society. For the most part, she says, big data adds up to big trouble.
When it comes to human activities, algorithms are expected to be models of objectivity, owing to their basis in mathematical formulae and reliance on enormous quantities of measured facts about a given general population, whether students or teachers, job applicants or criminal defendants.
Cathy O’Neil makes the case that real-world mathematical models are anything but objective. In her new book, Weapons of Math Destruction, she asserts that big data WMDs are opaque, unaccountable and destructive and that they essentially act as unwritten and unpublished secret laws. Weapons of Math Destruction was long-listed for a National Book Award in nonfiction and was published in September, 2016, to enthusiastic reviews from the likes of Clay Shirky and Cory Doctorow.
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The Fate of Reading in a Multimedia Age (LA Review of Books)
Though there is no reliable data on why a decline in reading literature is taking place, Tom Jacobs from Pacific Standard offers one theory: “the rise of movies and other visual content on demand — which started in the 1980s with the VCR — is one likely culprit. After all, why read a novel when you have Netflix?”
Retail CEOs Breathe Sigh of Relief as Election Distraction Ends (Bloomberg)
“We expect a bounce-back,” B&N CEO Len Riggio said in an interview after Trump’s unexpected victory. “The preoccupation with the election was hurting sales.”
Can a Computer Judge a Book By Its Cover? (Pub Perspectives)
And could software design book covers that could be judged—correctly—by humans? Research in Japan says maybe.
Using Multiple Points of View: When and How Is It Most Effective? (Jane Friedman)
Some stories require greater scope, more voices, or a different context than can be delivered through the eyes of one protagonist. When you find this to be the case, consider using multiple viewpoints. However, you must think about several factors before launching into this greater undertaking.
Taking Control of Your Author Business in a Time of Constant Change (Creative Penn)
In the last month, I have spoken at Digital Commerce Summit in Denver, attended a week long professional author conference in Oregon, and spent 10 days doing book research in Israel.
Build Your A-Team: Tips from an Indie Author (PW)
Richie Gerber has had many careers—musician, comedian, organic food businessman, radio host—and now he can add author to the list.
Editing Tools for Authors (The Verbs)
Editing is part of an author’s job. Many authors will admit it is the part they hate the most about writing. This necessary evil can often separate the amateurs from the professionals.
PRH to Offer Student Loan Repayment Assistance (DBW)
Penguin Random House announced that it has partnered with Gradifi, a student loan pay down provider, to offer financial assistance to U.S. employees to pay down their student loan debit.
International Industry Notes (Pub Perspectives)
Further action against media in Turkey prompts international publishers’ criticism Amazon KDP names a new recipient of its Spanish-Language award.
EU Ebook Ruling Means Change to PLR, Says SoA (Bookseller)
The Society of Authors has welcomed the European Court’s ruling on e-lending, which it argues removes “the final barrier” to applying Public Lending Right (PLR) to the remote lending of ebooks and audiobooks.