Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.
It’s a kind of Unified Theory of Absolutely Nothing. Or Everything. Or maybe of Two Things You Thought Went Together Like Sauerkraut and Ice Cream.
Whatever it is, it’s damn sure interesting.
I liked the part about the little black girl named “Shithead”. Read it to me again, daddy!
Wow, your review is about 1000 words shorter than mine… and just as enticing.
My favorite chapter was the one on the inner workings of The Black Gangster Disciple Nation.
Levitt is a brilliant economist, I’m sure, but you can’t tell from the radical dumb-down filter applied by Dubner. The whole book is just elementary statistical analysis presented without rigor. Here’s supposedly the most promising young economist of a generation, and the best Dubner can come up with is barely 200 pages of sparsely spaced sparse fluff with barely more meat than the original NYT article from which this book is stretched beyond belief.
I hate the title too.
Total waste of my time and money.
Waste of a premise. This is a 20-30 page essay puffed out to barely fill this book. Pretty much a joks. But that’s just my opinion.
I’ve been making that Shithead joke for almost ten years, including online, and in a few articles I wrote for magazines.
I had never heard it before, and I tell it differently but the precept is the same. I’ve since had several people try and tell it to me…
Sick minds think alike I suppose.
Coincidentally, I’m reading it now myself. Twas onsale at Costco for 40% less than Barnes and Noble so I dropped the excuse of waiting for it to hit the bargian table.
Never mind the noise – the book is an interesting read. I second the comment about the guy investigating the gang.
I thought the gang analysis was the most interesting part of the book.
I know a teacher who had twins in her class who were named “male” and “female,” pronounced malee, and fe-malee..
I heard Bill Gates will pay you to forward emails!
By the way, I was able to read “Freakonomics” in its entirety while standing in checkout at Target, and found it to be… short.
Freakonomics is definitely not some new and profound economic analysis. I mean it certainly isn’t Hayek or Thomas Sowell, but it wasn’t intended to be. Instead the value of the book is that it makes economics a bit more accessible to the laymen who maybe doesn’t find reading up on head spinning statistics of national savings rates, trade deficits, and GDP particularly interesting.
I’ll hazard a guess that the above negative commenters have often found themselves lamenting the economic illiteracy of the general populace. This book might do a little to alleviate that problem, be happy that something econ has such a broad appeal.
I checked it out of the library (beat that you so-called cheapskates), and I really enjoyed it, though I would have liked to have seen more of the guts in the statistical analysis. Throw me a t-score or a correlation at least, but instead it was practically devoid of numbers.
The section on naming patterns was very interesting (maybe because my wife was pregnant during that time), but the economy of street gangs dwas downright fascinating. Now I know why drug dealers live with their mom.
Seriously though, this is after all a popular book, that’s its role. Hawkings’ “Brief History of Time” isn’t graduate level physics and hyperbolic topography either: this book is meant to be accessible.
And when I think of my younger days studying undergrad economics — watching those poor dismayed journalism majors staring uncomprehendingly at the blackboard day after day as I greedily crushed the grading curves — and when I consider how abjectly ignorant most folks are in the ways of economics, any book like this is a great service.
If you liked the Freakonomics concept but thought it was short on substance (which seems to be most of you who commented) there is a book called The Economist’s View of the World by Stephen Rhoads. It’s a much more thorough execution of a similar concept. I was underwhelmed with Freakonomics myself — I know Levitt is capable of much better work.
Then there was the woman who named her baby girl with a word found on a chart in her doctor’s office. Because “Dysmenorrhea” (emphasis on the “or” part, and yes I know that’s wrong) sounded pretty.
Hopefully the spelling wasn’t preserved. I used to work with a guy whose wife was a schoolteacher, and this poor child was one of her students.
| VIEW MOBILE SITE
Copyright © 2005-2015 PJ Media All Rights Reserved. v1.000034