Freakonomics - a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
by Levitt, Steven D. and Dubner, Steven J.
pub. by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins, NY. 2005 - isbn; 0-06-073132-X Notes (chapter by chapter) p. 209-230 Acknowdedgments p. 231-232 Index p. 233-242 total size 242 p.
Levitt bills himself as an economist. He comes off as a rigorous statistician with a lot of raw data with which to work (play). Upfront he says that the book does not have a theme. He is correct about that.
The chapters include
-1- What do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers have in Common ( cheating. In which chapter he uses some interesting statistical methods where he can not achieve his -truth- by a show direct facts. )
-2- How is the Ku Klux Klan Like a group of Real-Estate Agents ( Information is power, and when the good true information gets out - Klan passwords and foolishness - Real-Estate value information - get out things change )
-3- Why do Drug Dealers Still Live with their Moms (because for most there is little money in it. There is an interesting narrative on the workings of a network of gangs selling crack cocaine.)
-4- Where have all the Criminals Gone. ( most controversial - they were aborted before they were born )
-5- What Makes a Perfect Parent ( except for genetics, wealth, and amount of education, children are more affected by their peers . Swimming pools in residential property is much more dangerous than having a gun in the house.)
-6- Perfect Parenting Part II - or - Would a Roshanda by any other Name smell as sweet ( a long and wandering bit about whether or not the names parents give their children have any effect on their lives.)
On the whole, the authors hope that the reader will look at things differently having read this book. I think they worked long and hard for modest merit. This was a very popular book when it came out. Sometimes the authors strain too hard to make their points. They rail against ~common knowledge~ and often enough common knowledge is not totally correct. This is a smattering of overkill. It is not always convincing.
The authors have a follow-up book - Super Freakonomics - published some 4 years after this one. It starts out with an explanatory note ~In which we admit to lying in our previous book~ I intend to read at least the first part of that book.
The lie was that there was no organizing framework. Author says that the organizing theme was not to trust ~common knowledge~.
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