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It reveals what people do when they’re thinking about connecting and hooking up, unaware that, thanks to the help of computers that never sleep, Rudder is scrutinizing their every move, itching to translate their decisions and proclivities into social facts.Rudder portrays the volume of information — the “unprecedented deluge,” or, “dataclysm” — as a gift that can reveal the truth of who we really are.But when people don’t realize that they’re lab rats in Rudder’s social experiments, they reveal habits — “universals,” he even alleges — that can contradict noble self-conceptions.

Instead, he posits an unnerving equivalence between people and commodities.

That’s the second problem: Rudder’s comparison of people to factory goods. But viewing people, or even delicious sandwiches, as widgets is dehumanizing to anyone, not just Marxists!

We need solid evidence, or some sort of compelling theory, to rule out the possibility that confounding factors are in play.

Renowned sociologist Erving Goffman convincingly demonstrated that social interactions can be performative.

The three sections “What Brings Us Together,” “What Pulls Us Apart,” and “What Makes Us Who We Are” do designate discrete differentiable issues. So, what do we learn from Rudder’s data-says-the-darndest-things story?

Well, we’re informed that as men age they find their contemporaries less appealing than younger women.

Rudder thus sits on a massive stockpile of proprietary information that reveals intimate details about what people of different races and genders say about themselves, as well as how they interact — or fail to interact — with each other.

In Rudder’s eyes, the latter is a sociological gold mine.

In other words, we often modify what we do to account for other people’s expectations and judgments.

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