Monday, April 25, 2005

I love Freakonomics

If you've not heard of it, really, this time, put up the for sale sign and move out from under the rock. Please. I always feel like I'm the last to know these things, so when I hear that someone else hasn't, I think the rock they are living under is just a layer under the pile of rocks that I'm living under. Let me know if I'm more on the cutting edge than I think (although I seriously doubt it).

So here's the link to the book "Freakonomics". It's by two guys named Stephen (well, one's a Steven, but who's counting). One's a University of Chicago Economist (BIIIIGGG propeller on this guy's beanie) and the other is a best selling author.

It's basically a leisurely walk through economics that "puts the cookies on the lower shelf" so everyone can have some (thank you John Maxwell for such a great quote). He takes long held "facts" and debunks them, or he gives you a different skew on them. The point of one section of the book is that we (as a society) tend to worry about high impact stuff that will almost never happen to us, rather than lower impact (or sometimes not) stuff that regularly happens. We are terrible evaluators of risk. Some of the stuff on parenting is truly eye opening (the statistics on child safety seats and children killed from airbags being deployed).

I'm the type of guy that just enjoys the heck out of stuff like this, so it particularly turned my crank. If you enjoyed either of Malcolm Gladwell's books (either of these), you'll probably dig Freakonomics.

Anyone read this yet? Any additional insights that I missed?