Thoughts on “Freakonomics”

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visuals

 
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The subtitle of Steven Levitt’s and Stephen Dubner’s book, Freakonomics is: “A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.” This is an appropriate subtitle in light of what they try to present in their book. If you are a cynic or a skeptic, then you will love this book. As a cynic, I found this book fascinating.

In a nutshell this book exposes and reveals things that we might not normally notice or things that we take things for granted. Their premise of their book states, “If morality represents how people would like the world to work, then economics shows how it actually does work.”

They make some extraordinary connections.

Here are just a few of them:

1) What do school teachers and Sumo wrestlers have in common?
2) How is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of real-estate agents?
3) Is abortion linked with reducing crime? (this is their most controversial connection proposal)

Levitt and Dubner show the power of the incentive principle – there are definitely positive aspects of incentives, as well as the dark side which always leads to cheating. It was fascinating to see how they caught various people in cheating situations. The biblical principle in action is the depravity of man.

They also argued that nothing is more powerful than information. Once a person has specific information, it allows them to really see things for what it is.

They even have a section on the importance of naming your baby. With a lot of numbers and statistics, they try to show that certain names have a greater advantage over others.

With every page turned, I couldn’t help but to be introspective and also analytical of things around me.

The prophet Jeremiah said, “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve” (Jer 17:10).

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