Extended Audio Sample

Download Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart Audiobook, by Ian Ayres Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 5 3.55 (31 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ian Ayres Narrator: James Lurie Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2007 ISBN: 9780739354735
Regular Price: $14.98 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $14.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Why would a casino try and stop you from losing? How can a mathematical formula find your future spouse? Would you know if a statistical analysis blackballed you from a job you wanted? 

Today, number crunching affects your life in ways you might never imagine. In this lively and groundbreaking new book, economist Ian Ayres shows how today's best and brightest organizations are analyzing massive databases at lightening speed to provide greater insights into human behavior. They are the Super Crunchers. From internet sites like Google and Amazon that know your tastes better than you do, to a physician's diagnosis and your child's education, to boardrooms and government agencies, this new breed of decision makers are calling the shots. And they are delivering staggeringly accurate results. How can a football coach evaluate a player without ever seeing him play? Want to know whether the price of an airline ticket will go up or down before you buy? How can a formula outpredict wine experts in determining the best vintages? Super crunchers have the answers. In this brave new world of equation versus expertise, Ayres shows us the benefits and risks, who loses and who wins, and how super crunching can be used to help, not manipulate us.

Gone are the days of solely relying on intuition to make decisions. No businessperson, consumer, or student who wants to stay ahead of the curve should make another keystroke without reading Super Crunchers.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_001220

Quotes & Awards

  • Super Crunchers shows that data-driven decisionmaking is not just revolutionizing baseball and business; it's changing the way that education policy, health care reimbursements, even tax regulations are crafted.  Super Crunching is truly reinventing government.  Politicians love to tout policy proposals, but they rarely come back and tell you which ones succeeded and which ones failed.  Data-driven policy making forces government to ask the bottom line question of 'What works.'  That's an approach we can all support. John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress
  • A lively and yet rigorously careful account of the use of quantitative methods for analysis and decision-making.... Both social scientists and businessmen can profit from this book, while enjoying themselves in the process. Dr. Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Prize winning economist, and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University
  • Ayres’ point is that human beings put far too much faith in their intuition and would often be better off listening to the numbers.... The best stories in the book are about Ayres and other economists he knows, whether they are studying wine, the Supreme Court or jobless benefits.... Ayres himself is one of the [statistical] detectives. He has done fascinating research. The New York Times Book Review
  • Ian Ayres [is] a law-and-economics guru. Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Lively and enjoyable.... Ayres skillfully demonstrates the importance that statistical literacy can play in our lives, especially now that technology permits it to occur on a scale never before imagined.... Edifying and entertaining. Publishers Weekly
  • "Super Crunchers presents a convincing and disturbing vision of a future in which everyday decision-making is increasingly automated, and the role of human judgment restricted to providing input to formulae. The Economist
  • Insightful and delightful! Forbes
  • In the past, one could get by on intuition and experience. Times have changed. Today, the name of the game is data. Ian Ayres shows us how and why in this groundbreaking book Super Crunchers. Not only is it fun to read, it just may change the way you think. Steven D. Levitt, author of Freakonomics
  • Data-mining and statistical analysis have suddenly become cool.... Dissecting marketing, politics, and even sports, stuff this complex and important shouldn't be this much fun to read. Wired
  • "[Ayres's] thesis is provocative: Complex statistical models could be used to market products more intelligently, craft better movies, and solve health-care problems—if only we could get past our statistics phobia. Portfolio
  • When statistics conflict with expert opinion, bet on statistics....Businesses, consumers, and governments are waking up to the power of analyzing enormous tracts of information. Discover

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darrenglass | 2/10/2014

    " The latest "next Freakonomics", and I felt pretty similarly about this book -- there were lots of interesting anecdotes, but I'm enough of a nerd that I actually wanted to see the details of the statistics and the data rather than just hear the cocktail-party version. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonah | 2/3/2014

    " Good read although a few years old (2007), so some of the concepts (randomised trials etc) weren't new, especially with Big Data being the trend on everyone's lips. Great section introducing statistical regressions, and the practical application of standard deviations (2SD rule) was an excellent refresher. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katharine | 1/30/2014

    " A fascinating book on the ethics and real life applications of data mining. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 1/28/2014

    " The subtitle of the British edition is "How Anything Can Be Predicted," and the author does an admirable job making one believe it. While glossing over most of the technical details, including the "hard part" of discovering which data variables correlate significantly and which do not, Ayres made me want to crank up my SAS program and get crunching! Inspiring and thought-provoking! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 1/28/2014

    " I really enjoyed this analysis of numerical analysis in today's world. It was much more engaging, even exciting than I expected. There are here great real-world accounts of significant business intelligence gathered from proper application of nothing more complicated than high school regression models. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roxanne Russell | 1/12/2014

    " Popularized stats. Great read. Accessible to and useful for anyone these days- consumers, marketers, researchers, patients, policy makers. Excellent anecdotes to show how powerful data mining can be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Owen | 1/11/2014

    " Ian Ayers is a very bright guy who works with huge datasets and Gaussian distributions. I was given this by Jeffry along with The Black Swan. It felt like being in the middle of an intellectual shouting match. Fun book, and Ayers writes with an easy, readable style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MikeFromQueens | 1/8/2014

    " Statistical analysis of data-bases. Hey - I did this stuff in the 1980's on DEC 11/70's. So it's become common because of how cheap it is to data-mine, and this book demonstrates how the tool works when applied at key moments in our busy lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonny99 | 1/5/2014

    " An impressive review of what modern economists and mathematicians are currently doing to provide insight formerly the realm of "the gut." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori Grant | 12/26/2013

    " A should-read book for knowledge workers and entrepreneurs on concepts and trends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Iuri Baldaconi | 12/3/2013

    " It is a good book to know more about how the industry uses our data. But it is not a technical book, no statistics nor maths, so if you like theory, you might get bored at one point. But as scientific divulgation it is a very good book. The brazilian edition has some errors, though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dave | 10/31/2013

    " Not bad, but much of it I've seen elsewhere in the few years since its publication. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy | 9/11/2013

    " good, but not quite at freakonomics/gladwell's level "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mazola1 | 8/6/2013

    " A fascinating, counterintuitive and somewhat scary look at the future where computer generated analysis of data provides a powerful tool for predicting all sorts of things while simultaneously stripping more and more of our privacy away. For everyone who thinks math is boring, read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Puneet | 8/3/2013

    " Much more insightful than 'Competing on Analytics...'. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Craigmundkoller | 6/12/2013

    " A good compliment to Freak Economics and all those other book written about how stats can be used in practical ways. Some very interesting anectdotes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Casandra | 12/11/2012

    " Statistics is the future. Not that I didn't already know this, but data mining will make all of our future decisions =D. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian Widmer | 6/30/2012

    " Pretty interesting how companies can do trials and make decisions using statistics "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Ismert | 5/9/2012

    " If Ayers says "Super Crunchers" one more time I'm going to go crazy. It makes the book read like a 60 minutes story... you keep expecting the bad pun from Andy Rooney at the end of each chapter. That said, it's got some interesting tidbits. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dustin McQuay | 1/7/2012

    " Very mind opening. This book effectively convinces you that you must learn to look at the data. Like it or not, you are going to make a lot of bad decisions if you don't. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ben Jackson | 12/2/2011

    " This was recommended to me by my boss. He lent me his copy and I took this out to San Francisco on a trip. It was well worth the read. While it got a little too much into the hard math at the end, it was a real eye opener regarding how statistics influence our lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jkettler | 6/13/2011

    " This book is well written, interesting, relevant and scary. It's about how digitized information has become so easily available (thanks to the internet), that it is now easy to predict the usefulness of everything from advertising techniques to medical procedures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 4/14/2011

    " This is better than a borrowed Christmas book. It is, in fact, Jon's Christmas book which he read and gave back to me to donate to the library. I had to read it first, of course. I can't believe I actually enjoyed reading a book about numbers...what is the world coming to? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 3/22/2011

    " Really titillated my inner nerd. I refer to it too often, definitely captured my imagination. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Will | 12/26/2010

    " Good introduction, but very, very basic if you work with computers. Data analysis has been done for a while now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dustin | 12/15/2010

    " Very mind opening. This book effectively convinces you that you must learn to look at the data. Like it or not, you are going to make a lot of bad decisions if you don't. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 James | 12/15/2010

    " Similar to "freakonomics". Perhaps the most significant case study was the reality that medical record digitization and consequent data mining is not only efficient but has saved hundreds of thousand of lives. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alex | 12/11/2010

    " Note to Ian Ayres: If you're gonna plagiarize, at least plagiarize stuff that makes your book tolerable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Iuri | 12/6/2010

    " It is a good book to know more about how the industry uses our data. But it is not a technical book, no statistics nor maths, so if you like theory, you might get bored at one point. But as scientific divulgation it is a very good book. The brazilian edition has some errors, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 11/22/2010

    " I read it a couple of years ago. Never thought economics could be this much fun. Its not going to be my favourite of all time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 11/4/2010

    " this is an excellent book showing how accumulation of data to find relationship for good decision making for long-term horizons. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Ian Ayres is an economist and lawyer who is the William K. Townsend Professor at Yale Law School and a professor at Yale’s School of Management. He is a columnist for Forbes magazine and a regular contributor to the New York Times  Freakanomics blog. He is the author of several books, including Super Crunchers, which was a New York Times bestseller and named one the Best Economics and Business Books of the Year by the Economist. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

About the Narrator

James Lurie has worked for the biggest companies in the news, entertainment, and advertising businesses. He has an eclectic background; he’s been a musician, a writer, and a doctoral candidate in Chinese history. He’s even been the voice of a talking gasoline pump. As an actor he has had recurring roles on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Law & Order, Picket Fences, and As the World Turns, to name but a few, and he won a Dramalogue Award in Los Angeles for his stage work.