More Numbers Every Day: How Data, Stats, and Figures Control Our Lives and How to Set Ourselves Free (Hardcover)
How many hours of sleep did you get last week? How many steps did you walk today? How many friends do you have? It seems everywhere you go, you’re surrounded by numbers. You depend on them, so you think they’re dependable, neutral, exact. But the truth? Numbers lie. They mislead. They’re tricky, little manipulative devils. And they’re in the process of really messing things up for you. You just don’t know it yet.
Today we all strive to quantify everything: calories, likes, website traffic, and even friends. We measure ourselves against others and compare our real experiences to imagined averages. But in our rush to measure, we can lose sight of what matters. From internationally renowned economics professors Micael Dahlen and Helge Thorbjørnsen, More Numbers Every Day is a timely and powerful investigation—and warning—about the trouble numbers can bring us.
With groundbreaking, empowering, sometimes frightening, and sometimes funny research, they describe how numbers creep into our heads and bodies, affecting how we think and feel. But numbers aren’t all bad. Sometimes they make us weaker, but sometimes they also make us stronger. More Numbers Every Day is more than just an exploration in to the somewhat mysterious, seemingly infinite pandemic of numbers. It’s a numerical vaccination—for a happier and more integrally healthy life.
Micael Dahlen is a professor at the Stockholm School of Economics. His research focuses on economics, happiness and welfare. He has written books on topics ranging from happiness and the meaning of life, to evil, tech, and human behaviors. Professor Dahlen is an internationally acclaimed speaker, a podcast host, and a self-proclaimed Asktronaut. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden.
Helge Thorbjørnsen is a Professor at the Norwegian School of Economics. He is curious about human behavior and decision-making, especially when technology is involved. His research and teaching span from happiness and well-being to behavioral economics, innovation and advertising. He lives in Bergen, Norway.
"Our days have always been numbered, but increasingly so too are our steps, minutes of REM sleep, and evaluations of restaurants. In 31,234 words Dahlen and Thorbjørnsen cast their four critical, and at times whimsical, eyes at our numbered existences revealing that despite the potentially uncountable benefits of numbering things, consuming too much 'pi' might be bad for our health."—Scott E. Page, PhD, John Seely Brown Distinguished University Professor, University of Michigan, and author of The Model Thinker
"Everybody should read this book. A smart and insightful read that will totally change the way you think – and live."—Thomas Erikson, author of Surrounded by Idiots
"An entertaining and thought-provoking antidote to the tyranny of numbers in the modern world. By looking at the psychology of how we are tricked, goaded and often crushed by endless quantification, the authors present a winning case for weaning ourselves off number-dependence."—Alex Bellos, author of Can You Solve My Problems?
"The authors deliver a steady stream of anecdotes, studies, and historical events that will unsettle even the most skeptical...An unnerving but convincing anti-number polemic."—Kirkus Reviews
"Using research to substantiate their claims, the authors incorporate fascinating tidbits...The book's structure, humorous tone, and examples make it easy to read and follow by a better quality of life."—Library Journal