Reading _Weapons of Math Destruction_: the plan

Our new book club reading is Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction. In this post I’ll lay out a reading agenda, along with ways to participate.

ONeil_Weapons of Math Destruction pb cover

Brand new copy, straight from the local bookstore.

The way people read along in this book club is through the web, essentially. It’s a distributed experience.

It works like so. On this blog I post an agenda (see below), which is designed to be comfortable for busy people to follow without being so slow as to lose momentum.  People read along as they can.  Starting with the first chapter, I post notes and questions every week as we work through the book.  Every post, including this one, is tagged “mathdestruction“.  I’ll keep these posts up, along with their attached comments, so readers can refer back to them in the future.

Some folks prefer to participate by commenting on those posts, which is great. Others write up thoughts on their own blogs, which I link to. My blog posts also appear on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook, where other responses appear. Still other readers create other responses, from Google Docs to bots (yes, really) to remixed visuals.  I’m waiting to see YouTube responses and to hear podcasts.

If you would like to see examples of the book club in action, head to the book club home page and check some of the past readings.  Perhaps the most spectacular example is the We Make the Road By Walking reading.


I’m writing this on Friday, October 6th.  Let’s give people a little more than a week to grab copies.  And then we can start:

October 16, 2017: introduction and chapter 1, “Bomb Parts: What is a Model?”

October 23: chapter 2, “Shell Shocked: My Journey of Disillusionment”, and chapter 3, “Arms Race: Going to College”

October 30: chapter 4, “Propaganda Machine: Online Advertising”, and chapter 5, “Civilian Casualties: Justice in the Age of Big Data”

November 6: chapter 6, “Ineligible to Serve: Getting a Job”, and chapter 7, “Sweating Bullets: On the Job”

November 13: chapter 8, “Collateral Damage: Landing Credit”, and chapter 9, “No Safe Zone: Getting Insurance”

November 20: chapter 10,  “The Targeted Citizen: Civic Life”,  the conclusion, and the afterward (apparently new for the paperback edition)

How does that sound?

If the book and schedule work for you, join us as we read Weapons of Math Destruction!

Liked it? Take a second to support Bryan Alexander on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
This entry was posted in readings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Reading _Weapons of Math Destruction_: the plan

  1. autumm says:

    I’m so excited Bryan!!! I led a book group around this book just a few months ago – face to face back when I was in Columbus. This book changed my outlook on a lot of things

  2. I am already reading this – I’m very interested in talking about it.

  3. Pingback: _Weapons of Math Destruction_, part 1 | Bryan Alexander

  4. Pingback: _Weapons of Math Destruction_, part 2 | Bryan Alexander

  5. Pingback: _Weapons of Math Destruction_, part 2 | Bryan Alexander

  6. Pingback: _Weapons of Math Destruction_, part 3 | Bryan Alexander

  7. Pingback: Reading Weapons of Math Destruction, part 4 | Bryan Alexander

  8. Pingback: Reading _Weapons of Math Destruction_, part 5 | Bryan Alexander

  9. Pingback: Reading _Weapons of Math Destruction_, the final chapters | Bryan Alexander

  10. Pingback: Algorithms, Education, & Inequality – OU Reading Circle – Keegan Long-Wheeler

  11. Pingback: Squad Goals Network | Algorithms, Education, & Inequality – OU Reading Circle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *