Posted by on Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

I’m guessing many of you beat me to this book.  If not, here’s the skinny: Levitt, the unorthodox economist and Dubner, the journalist, examined several questions to break through our assumptions and find the real reasons behind many things in our world: cheating in sumo wrestling; the honesty (or lack thereof) of realtors; how required achievement testing and "No Child Left Behind" programs are encouraging teachers to cheat on their students’ behalves without actually doing anything to improve the state of education; names and how they affect success; real causes of crime drops; etc.  Some of the information is just interesting (did you know that Amy is the second whitest girl’s name, and Scott is the ninth whitest boy’s name? There goes all our street cred), and some of it should lead people to truly question how they vote, how they parent, and how they deal with their investments.

As I mentioned, the book lays out some pretty interesting information–none of which I want to spoil through feeble attempts at restating.  But more importantly, it encourages readers to question perceived knowledge about important subjects.  In short: don’t trust people to be entirely honest or to do decent research when dishonesty and shoddy scholarship will benefit them.  Just don’t.  It will hurt your wallet, it will hurt your kids’ educations, and it will hurt your world. 

The duo continues their work via the New York Times Magazine.  Check it out. 

Filed in Books | One response so far

One Response to “Freakonomics”

  1. minnieon 12 Oct 2006 at 12:33 pm 1

    now there’s one i’d definitely like to read! my son is a victim of “no child left behind”. he is a behavioral special education student, and they just keep trying to shove him on, and he’s not getting an education. don’t get me started, lol

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