Freakonomics

I picked up a copy of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the  Hidden Side of Everything last night before jumping on a plane.  I pretty much devoured it on my flight. While I don’t often write here about books (in fact this may be my first entry on the subject), if you liked Blink or The Tipping Point or are just curious about how the world works, I’d strongly suggest you check this one out. The basic idea of Freakonomics is to use statistical analysis to explore relationships and answer some pretty interestin  questions about our world (are swimming pools more dangerous than guns; why do drug dealers live with their mothers; how can we tell if sumo wrestlers cheat; etc).  I eat this stuff up (for me its in part the mix of my two college majors – economics and psychology).  And, while you may not find every topic explored in the book riveting, I think the broader premise is an important one – by thinking about problems a little differently one can come up with interesting ways of testing theories that would otherwise seem untestable.  Perhaps by turning problems slightly askew you can gain a perspective into something that you didn’t think was possible.