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Everything Is Bullshit: The greatest scams on Earth revealed Paperback – June 24, 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Priceonomics is a San Francisco-based company that writes about data, business, and economics, and also provides data services for businesses. Everything Is Bullshit is written by Zachary Crockett, Rohin Dhar, and Alex Mayyasi, and contains special contributions from David Raether and Dan Abramson.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Priceonomics (June 24, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692224963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692224960
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
"Everything is Bulls***" isn't a bad book, but it's not particularly good, either. Analysis isn't very thorough (most chapters read like slightly expanded blog posts), and most of the cases presented in the book aren't stunning new revelations. Are there really that many people out there that don't know that the diamond industry is a big charade, that you're not going to win McDonalds Monopoly game, or that animal rights movements gravitate towards cute animals like baby seals?

"Everything is Bulls***" would be a much better book if it were to contrast current "Bulls***" to frauds that were overcome and and are no longer bought into. Such additions would make the book whole by suggesting a remedy to today's, well, "bulls***". Instead, the book panders to cynicism and is little more than a source for cocktail party chit-chat.
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Format: Paperback
There's a few chapters in this book I really enjoyed. But I do have a problem with the use of statistics in this book. The book pretty much never gives their sources, so there's no way to check info, if you wanted to. So when they say that 80% of wine critics often can't tell the difference between expensive and cheap wines. You don't know: 80% of how many surveyed? 5? 10? 100? How often is often? 50% of the time? It's meaningless.

Another chapter that really shocked me was the college chapter. Apparently in a world where everything is bulls***, college isn't. The authors actually believe that the average college grad makes twice as much as anyone else. That's a lie that's been told and disproved again and again over the past 100 years, and I can't believe they fell for it. Here's how it works; let's say that a graduate class of 100 people goes on to make 30k a year even, across the board (Pretty unbelievable but let's pretend). So let's say one other guy in the class goes on to make a salary of 3 million. Well that bloke just doubled the average of the group! Now that university can go on saying that the average income of the grad class is 60k, when that just ain't so.

For a book that purports to take the cynical view, they are awfully optimistic sometimes.

The first chapters I got in my kindle sample were really good and that's why I got the book. Some other chapters are ok, but the majority of the pages are filled with meaningless tripe.
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Format: Paperback
For a while now, the Priceonomics blog has been one of my go to sources for long form content. It's nearly impossible to find clear, well written articles on the web that use data convincingly to argue each point. The Priceonomics team does this extraordinarily well blending their quantified insight with stellar, easy to understand writing. Definitely pick up a copy!
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Format: Kindle Edition
The examples are nice and lovely but the one perspective that's missing is the consumer's perspective on each of them - "what are they thinking and what parts of the myth have they bought into and what is for real as per "research"?".

- a little more of framework towards the end to round it off to classify each of these myths into various categories (some of which I have attempted to describe below).
- a couple of pages of summary at the end of each example to explain the synopsis of the entire "bull s***" - creation, sustenance and risks to the myth - viz., why it can break ? for eg., "blood diamonds" could break the "a diamond is forever" myth. Much like the graph in page 225 on bicycle thefts.
- each of these examples is in a different stage of the "bull s***" cycle - some bull s***s have burst (experian), some are in mid life crisis ("diamonds") and some or slowly dying ("taxi medallions). it will help if you guys discern it and educate the reader as much and some like mcdonalds have been outsmarted by an insider ("uncle jerry").

In a gist, the book has some great examples but fails to round them off at the beginning and helping the reader place each example in context and why the phenomonen is happening.

Overall, a good read for anyone who wants to know the economics of a few "self perpetuating myths". I've always loved the pricenomics blog and have learnt a lot from it.

Only I would request the authors to start identifying patterns, lessons and inferences from the wonderful panoramic view they have been fortunate to have on these various "bulls***" events around the world.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Everything is bulls***. The diamonds, the wine, the free credit reports -- almost everything around us is a smoke-and-mirrors game. This isn't cynical, it's just true. And the Priceonomics team shows us countless instances of this being true in the world around us.

What I loved:
- The writing really sparkles with personality and made it so enjoyable to read, even while stuck on a cramped commuter train.
- The authors write extraordinarily clearly, but also respect the reader's intelligence. Strikes that perfect balance. Rare quality.
- The topics are just so on point and shatter so many misconceptions that have been waiting to be shattered in convincing manner.

Areas for improvement (undoubtedly when the sequel comes out):
- Each essay sits in a particular chapter/subcategory, but I wish there had a been a subtle sort of narrative voice tying and linking all of them together to keep reminding the reader why this is important to daily life.

All in all, an outstanding book that is the perfect companion to Steve Levitt/Dubner's latest title Think Like a Freak. They pair very well. A book that you could read over and over again and still find it awesome.
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