The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems . . . and Create More by Luke Dormehl


Chapter 1 - Quantified Selves

Interesting: 1970's Dr. Tabi Kahler's miniscript (process communication model) gives 6 primary personality types:

  • Thinkers: view the world through data; deal with situations with logical analysis (1 in 4 people)
  • Rebels: react based on reactions; either love or hate things; innovative (1 in 5 people)
  • Persistors: filter everything through their opinions; most politicians, a good quality for an astronaut (1 in 10 people)
  • Harmonizers: deal with everything in terms of emotions and relationships (3 in 10 people)
  • Promoters: view everything through action; salesmen of the world (1 in 20 people)
  • Imaginers: deal in unfocused thought and imagination; spot patterns (1 in 10 people)

Chapter 2 - The Match and the Spark

  • Med school matching: "the stable marriage problem"
  • dating sites and weird sex stuff(?)

Chapter 3 - Do Algorithms Dream of Electric Laws

  • classic NY crime cracking down on fare dodging in the subways...
  • Minority Report: predict crime before it happens, and consequences
  • opportunity to replace low-level lawyers with algorithms

Chapter 4 - The Machine that made Art

  • hard to predict which movies will be successful: use neural networks
  • Netflix generate content based on algorithmic predictions of what people want


  • cites Brynjolfsson and McAfee about the "Great Restructuring" of work