Monday, July 11, 2005

I began Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner before I went on vacation, but just got around to finishing it this weekend. It's apparently the book of the moment because I was way down on the wait list (which is still 100+ here several months after its release). Essentially, it uses economics to answer social questions like: why do drug dealers live with their moms, do sumo wrestlers cheat, and what really caused the crime drop in the 1990s? They even touch on the nature vs nurture debate. Or, as they put it, "if morality represents an ideal world, then economics represents the actual world." As the proud holder of uh, a very useful degree in sociology, I found the book really interesting. Regression analysis, causality vs correlation... I loved all that stuff in college and this book is full of it. It's written in an easily accessible manner, the questions posed are interesting, and the answers somewhat surprising. It's definitely thought provoking and Lord knows we need more of that in these days of hollow moral posturing and shallow, trite analysis.

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