How To Call B.S. On Big Data: A Practical Guide (New Yorker)

New Yorker: How To Call B.S. On Big Data: A Practical Guide. “‘Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you,’ the Oxford philosophy professor John Alexander Smith told his students, in 1914, ‘save only this: if you work hard and intelligently, you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot.’ Smith might be pleased to know that this week, at the University of Washington, in Seattle, some hundred and fifty students will complete ‘Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data,’ a course less profanely and more prosaically known as INFO 198/BIOL 106B. Taught by Jevin West, an information scientist, and Carl Bergstrom, a biologist, it created something of an online sensation when its syllabus went up, in January, and when registration opened it filled to capacity in less than a minute.”