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Keywords

mathematical models, social justice, numeracy, quantitative literacy

Abstract

Cathy O’Neil. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (New York, NY: Crown) 272 pp. ISBN 978-0553418811.

Accessible to a wide readership, Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy provides a lucid yet alarming account of the extensive reach of mathematical models in influencing all of our lives. With a particular eye towards social justice, O’Neil not only warns modelers to be cognizant of the effects of their work on real people—especially vulnerable groups who have less power to fight back—but also encourages laypersons to take initiative in learning about the myriad ways in which big data influences their lived experiences. In this review, I highlight O’Neil’s core argument and provide beginning thoughts on how the Numeracy community might take up the book moving forward.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License