On the Horizon – more numbers every day (Micael Dahlén & Helge Thorbjørnsen)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received an eArc of this nonfiction through NetGalley in exchange for me honest musings . . .

Title: more numbers everyday: how data, stats, and figures control our lives and how to set ourselves free
Author: Micael Dahlen & Helge Thorbjørnsen
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication Date: Available Now!!! (hardback/e-book)
ISBN: 978-0306830846
Source:  NetGalley

I enjoy reading about statistics and was intrigued by the concept of how numbers tracking in the era of the smart phones affects life.  I thought I was going to get a more serious look into the science of numbers.  Instead this book was written in a loose style of a self-help book with very little practical advice.  The theme was “numerical vaccination” which the authors themselves don’t seem to follow.  I understand they are economics professors but their personal anecdotes seem to fall into all the “traps” they warn against.

There are interesting comments in here, particularly about how numbers influence news articles in both “real” and “fake” news.  However, the book seems to be a doom and gloom look into the numbers game and seems to focus on the fear aspects.  Even when I agreed with the points the authors were making, I still struggled with the point of this book.

Even their own research was lightly touched on and received a couple of paragraphs per study.  I would have preferred a text with actual citations rather than a bibliography.  Why not link to the actual studies?  Or online sources?  Also because I was reading on an e-reader, I couldn’t read many of the illustrations and couldn’t enlarge them.  The book felt like a gimmick.  I did find some new concepts and data here so I don’t regret reading this book.  I was just expecting a lot more.  Arrrr!

Goodreads has this to say about the book:

Your personal number detox: learn how numbers have taken control of your life—and how to get it back.

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.

To visit the authors’ Goodreads pages go to:
Micael Dahlén – Author
Helge Thorbjørnsen – Author

To buy the book go to:
more numbers every day – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:
Yer Ports for Plunder List


2 thoughts on “On the Horizon – more numbers every day (Micael Dahlén & Helge Thorbjørnsen)

  1. Excellent review, Cap. What a shame the authors seemed to have either lost the initial purpose of the book – or the blurb basically mis-sold what the book is trying to do. Which happens more often than it should…


  2. Lol, I am immune to the numbers they mention in the synopsis. There is nothing more boring than a person telling you their health numbers, whether it’s sleep, steps, or calories.


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