Freakonomics is an exploration of using the tools of economics on questions that often aren’t seen as within the purview of the science itself, such as, Does standardized testing make teachers cheat?; Why do drug dealers live with their parents? and several others.
Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner do an excellent job of making the questions and especially the answers interesting and accessible, illuminating the need to look at what the data really shows instead of accepting the muddle that is often “conventional wisdom.” Apart from how interesting even seemingly mundane questions can be when put under the loupe of science, it is in beseeching us to throw away our preconceptions and use the tools that exist to really look at the problems of society and how they can be solved that the book really succeeds.
On the downside, Freakonomics is very brief and could do with both more cases and with more meat on each case—while accessibility is all well and good, and successfully achieved, it would be nice to have deeper looks into the techniques used.
Freakonomics is interesting and enlightening, and leaves the reader wanting more.
Posted Sunday, 13 November, 2005 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.