• The Eye Test

  • A Case for Human Creativity in the Age of Analytics
  • By: Chris Jones
  • Narrated by: Chris Jones
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)

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The Eye Test

By: Chris Jones
Narrated by: Chris Jones
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Publisher's Summary

In a world increasingly ruled by numbers and algorithms, award-winning journalist Chris Jones makes a compelling case for a more personal approach to analytical thinking​.

The Eye Test is a necessary course correction, a call for a more balanced, personal approach to problem-solving. Award-winning journalist Chris Jones makes the case for the human element - for what smart, practiced, devoted people can bring to situations that have proved resistant to analytics. Jones shares what he’s learned from an army of extraordinary talents, including some of the best doctors, executives, athletes, meteorologists, magicians, designers, astrophysicists, and detectives in the world. There are lessons in their mastery.

Of course, there is a place for numbers in decision-making. No baseball player should be judged by his jawline. But the analytics revolution sparked by Michael Lewis’ Moneyball now threatens to replace one kind of absurdity with another. We have developed a blind faith in the machine, the way a driver overly reliant on his GPS might be led off the edge of a cliff. Not all statistical analysis is sound. Algorithms aren’t infallible, and spreadsheets aren’t testaments. Trust in them too much, and they risk becoming instruments of destruction rather than understanding.

Worse, data’s supremacy in our daily lives has led to a dangerous strain of anti-expertise: the belief that every problem is a math problem, and anyone given access to the right information will find the right answer. That taste doesn’t matter, experience doesn’t matter, creativity doesn’t matter. That we can’t believe our eyes, no matter how much they’ve seen.

The Eye Test serves as a reminder that if beauty is less of a virtue in the age of analytics, a good eye still is. This book is a celebration of our greatest beholders - and an absorbing, inspiring guide for how you might become one, too.

©2022 Chris Jones (P)2022 Twelve

Critic Reviews

“If you’re worried that data are replacing human judgment instead of informing it, you’re going to love this book. If you’re confident that data from the past can always predict the future, you desperately need to read this book. With convincing arguments and delightful writing, Chris Jones makes the case for putting people back in the analytics equation.” (Adam Grant, number one New York Times best-selling author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast WorkLife)

"This is the rare book that will alter the way you perceive the world. It's a story, an argument, a manifesto even: a prayer for a more kind, more creative, more empathetic world. Chris Jones is writing about the human race paused at a fork in the road, and he puts us at that fork with our brothers and sisters. And so, finally, and perhaps most of all, THE EYE TEST serves as a map, out of this artificial mechanical wilderness and back to the flickering light of ourselves." (Wright Thompson, New York Times best-selling author of Pappyland and The Cost of These Dreams)

“Extremes are rarely a good thing - in politics, sports, or our culture. Chris Jones knows that, offering a nuanced argument that while analytics are all the rage, there isn’t any sort of mathematical equation to ensure success.” (Chris Cillizza, host of CNN's The Point)

What listeners say about The Eye Test

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  • Overall
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Fantastic

One of the best books I've experienced in a really long time. I absolutely loved every minute of it.

12 people found this helpful

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Overwhelming leftwing bias defeats his thesis

The premise has a lot of potential; there's a lot to object to in pure analytic analysis. But the idea that an "eye" test is necessary and valuable is predicated on that eye test being neutral and unbiased -- otherwise, it's just garbage-in, garbage out of an analog sort. That is what the author provides. His choice of examples, and the evidence that he accepts uncritically while ignoring contravening evidence, makes this nothing more than a partisan screed -- which is exactly the concern that analytics boosters raise to "eye tests."

For effectively refuting your own argument, Chris, I offer you one star. You can read adequately, though.

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You will be moved by reading this

Surprisingly touching tribute to the humanity within situations, there is an emotional component to this book that I never expected

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Insightful and interesting

I haven’t stopped talking about this book since starting it. I love learning interesting facts and statistics. This book has me rethinking how I look at the world. Read by the author, this felt like a great podcast series.

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Had so much potential

The first chapter was great, then turned political. You start to catch it and then by the time he gets to polling, it is clear. I don’t understand why the author does this and to the point he is spouting falsehoods. Such a disappointment.

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  • KK
  • 09-21-22

Needs better narrator

Very well written book that gives plenty to ponder. Sports chapters (particularly the excessive baseball stories) too long. Poor narration with mechanical, unvaried pacing.

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No beginning, no end

Summary: While most people make a lot.of silly misjudgments, the author is too smarmy and smart for all that.

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Great if you like self contradictory rambling.

Author shows a complete lack of self awareness when advising readers to use tools he demonstrably does not. Frankly the entire point could have been made in a paragraph or two and all the stories whittled down into about 2 hours. I powered through because I hate to leave a book unfinished but learn from my mistake and save yourself hours of tedium wishing for it to be over. the only upside was getting it on the Daily Deal and not wasting more money on it.

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Started good then went down hill

I thought I was going to hear an insightful book on analytics but by midway through the book it had turned into liberal essay on politics. The author seemed to either cherry picking facts to meet his agenda or stating his own opinions or observations as facts. I’ll be asking for a refund on this one.