Dataclysm Book Summary By Christian Rudder

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Dataclysm is an eye-opening book about the power of data.

It explores how information gathered from the internet can give us insights about people's behavior, thoughts, and actions that would normally be difficult - or even impossible - to reveal through lab experiments.

Instead of giving you a clean, two-dimensional view of its subjects, Dataclysm shows us the grittier side of behavior: when we think no one is watching us, we often behave in ways that don't always reflect our most admirable qualities.

By taking an honest look at these darker parts of human nature, Dataclysm offers us a unique perspective on who we are and what makes us tick.


Book Name: Dataclysm (Who We Are When We Think No One’s Looking)

Author(s): Christian Rudder

Rating: 3.7/5

Reading Time: 13 Minutes

Categories: Technology & the Future

Author Bio

The author of Dataclysm, Christian Rudder, is no stranger to popular websites and the online community.

Way before OkCupid or even was created, Rudder had developed a knack for finding creative solutions to how people interact with each other on the internet.

He then went on to create OkCupid and become a leading voice in online technology and relationships.

With years of experience under his belt, there's no doubt that he's got a great handle on investigating what data can say about us as individuals and as a society.

Uncovering The Human Condition: What Your Online Data Reveals About You And Behaviour In General

Human Condition

It’s a myth that we are completely anonymous online.

Even though no one may uncover our identity or erase our browser history, data from us can still be collected and monitored.

And this information can give companies insight into how we behave when using the internet.

In his book, Dataclysm, author Christian Rudder shows us why we misbehave even when it appears that no one is watching.

Despite knowing our comments or searches might have consequences, we still go ahead and do things that could potentially hurt us in the long run.

He explains how white men really do enjoy The Allman Brothers Band, why pizza is an universal thing people love and how being less attractive can get you more dates.

All of these reveal something about humanity – even if nobody’s watching, it doesn’t mean we always act responsibly.

The Power Of Online Dating Data: Unfiltered Insights Into Heterosexual Relationships

Raw data from online dating sites can tell us a lot about our preferences in potential partners.

For instance, dating website OkCupid’s profile ratings data has revealed that heterosexual men and women typically share the same preferences when it comes to partners.

Men tend to be drawn towards physically attractive women, while women favour men with material items such as wealth and social status.

OkCupid’s data also shows that the age preferences for heterosexual men change over time – they usually give answers closer to their own age when asked in interviews but actually prefer partners in their early twenties.

Furthermore, for women, preference for older or same-age males increases after the 30s.

We also know that despite conventional wisdom, lower profile ratings may be beneficial when looking for a compatible partner online.

A woman with a rating of two out of ten is more likely to find matches than one with a perfect score since there’ll be less competition over her attention and therefore greater chances of success for an interested man.

The Internet Has Turned Us All Into Writers – And Made Us Better At It

It’s amazing to consider that while we may have replaced the pen and paper with technology, we write far more today than our ancestors ever did.

Whether it’s teenagers on social media or bloggers for a career, writing is an integral part of expressing oneself online.

Thanks to Twitter, with its 140-character limit, we’ve had to develop our writing skills and learn how to convey a lot in few words.

You’d think this would produce “dumbed down” prose, but researchers found that even abbreviations like ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ were no less common as compared to other mediums.

What’s more, Twitter actually has higher lexical density than emails do – meaning even within the limited character count, users are able to write quality content!

The sheer volume of text written in just two years on Twitter alone is mind-boggling: more words than what’s been printed in all books put together!

There’s no denying that times have changed dramatically since the days of pen and paper, but through it all we’re still writing – maybe even more now than ever before.

Social Connections Are Key To Innovation, Romance, And Avoiding Breakups


We all learn and are inspired by the ideas around us.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure we have as many social connections as possible, because it opens up more opportunities to create and be exposed to those original, unique ideas.

In fact, research has shown that innovations come from merging two different ideas together into one – something we call the “intersection effect.” That’s why places like Pixar even put the bathrooms in their central atrium so that it would bring its employees together on their way there.

In addition, even online data supports this idea of having multiple contacts with diverse backgrounds.

Think about the viral cat videos that get shared with millions of people; without knowing each other personally, they can still communicate thanks to our digital world.

The same goes for romantic relationships too — Facebook data reveals that when two people have many mutual friends, they’re much more likely to stay together than if they had fewer connections in common.

In these cases, less contacts can mean leading seperate lives or even worse – having “secret lives” which can signal a upcoming breakup.

Our Ugly Truth: How Judging On Appearances And Racism Still Persist In Our Society

The Dataclysm Book Summary illustrates how people can be unfairly prejudiced, superficial and even racist when they think no one is watching.

In an effort to help two users exchange information to set up a date in the immediate future, OkCupid introduced an app called Crazy Blind Love.

However, it flopped due to people’s inclination to judge a potential date solely on appearance.

Yet, those who did meet through the app gave it exceptional ratings despite appearances suggesting this judgement rapidly changed after meeting someone in person.

Not only that but our internet data reveals that racism is still alive and well, whether it’s expressed publicly or not.

Google searches featuring the “N-word” appear seven million times per year, with autocomplete queries like “Why do black people like fried chicken?” being common amongst the many biased questions we ask Google.

What these statistics tell us is that even though we may not express our racism openly for fear of judgement or retribution, we still hold these ideas and beliefs deep down inside.

The Dark Side Of The Internet: How Anonymity And Disinhibition Fuel Hate Online

Are all humans miserable jerks? Not necessarily, but the anonymity that social media provides certainly doesn’t bring out our best.

We have many examples of online disinhibition effect – where people’s true feelings come out much more readily when there are no consequences for their words or actions.

In Safiyyaah Nawaz’s case, her innocent tweet about the age of the earth was met with a barrage of hate and vile comments from anonymous sources.

Then there are ancient examples of men and gods dedicated to the art of gossip in polytheistic religions, something just as relevant today as it was in ancient times.

We can still see severe judgement and harsh language in our society today – even if we look at some passages from one of the oldest books, seen through religious contexts: “judge not lest you be judged”.

We seem to be hard-wired to some degree of negativity and hate.

And while this may remain a common thread amongst us all, negative behavior is amplified and accelerated further when people feel free to act without restraint on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit.

Regrettably, we can still witness hateful comments directed at people online, who are often targeted simply because they’re open targets – unknown people who don’t have any accountability for their actions or words due to being anonymous users on the Internet.(No fake facts added)

Our Vocabulary Reveals More Than Just Our Ethnic And Cultural Identities, It Also Tells Us A Lot About Our Gender


What you say can give someone a pretty accurate idea of who you are.

From ethnicity to gender, the type of words and phrases you use is enough to tell what group or culture you belong to.

Take OkCupid for example; the most common words written by white men include “my blue eyes,” “campfire” and “Allman Brothers.” Black men often use the words “dreads,” “Jamie Foxx” and “Paid in Full.” Similarly, Asian women write “Taiwan,” “tall for an Asian” and “filipina” more often, and Latinas write about “una,” “merengue bachata,” and “Colombian.

Gender too can be determined simply by looking at the type of words used; women may typically talk about their nails, cute texts or girls night whereas men talk about good bros, ps4 or hooping.

Despite these differences though there exist essential vocabulary such as ‘the’ and ‘pizza’ that do not respect racial or gender boundaries.

So if someone were to know what words you use then they could accurately tell something(s)about who you are – even whether or not you love pizza!

We Can Have Greater Privacy Online By Limiting What And How Much We Share

We all deserve online privacy, no doubt about it!

But we can’t forget that controlling what and how much we share online still plays a key role in protecting our privacy.

If you limit the amount of information you put on social media platforms, then it’s harder for internet megacorporations to collect your online data.

That means your personal information is more secure from entities looking to make money from it.

At the same time, remember that when you use “free” services such as Google or Facebook, the companies can still access and sell your data if you choose to share it.

So if you don’t want to give away any of your private information, don’t do so willingly.

You won’t get anything out of it anyway!

Wrap Up

The Final Summary of Dataclysm:

Dataclysm is a book that offers scientific insight into the human condition through the analysis of vast collections of data taken from internet services.

This book shows us, in an entertaining and informative way, how this kind of information can be used to better understand our behaviors while online.

It gives us a bird’s eye view of society and allows us to question what we think we know about ourselves.

Through finding patterns, correlations and outliers, Dataclysm helps deepen our understanding and appreciation for humanity.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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