Freakonomics



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Posted by: stak
Tags: books
Posted on: 2007-04-19 17:39:40

Now that exams are over, I've finally gotten the chance to catch up on my reading - I finished reading Freakonomics the other day, and was somewhat disappointed. Although it was a decent read, I think all the hype I've heard about it kind of ruined it for me. It seemed to be mostly an illustration of the practical benefits of critical thinking - while useful, it was hardly the eye-opening read I was expecting it to be. The sequel seems to be more of the same - a bunch of anecdotes on random topics illustrating how things may not be what they appear. I don't think I'll be diving into that any time soon.

Posted by rohan at 2007-04-19 20:06:27
yes freakonomics was pretty bad. you can tell by the large font and spacing between lines...
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Posted by stak at 2007-04-19 23:10:20
Hm.. mine wasn't particularly large font-ed or wide-spaced. Are you sure you didn't pick up one of those easy reading editions for people with poor eyesight?
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Posted by varun at 2007-04-20 10:53:40
Freakonomics was terrible, but not because of the font and spacing. It was terrible because Dubner wrote it and like most NYT writers, he isn't willing to take a remotely controversial on anything, even if the data and the theory behind it is solid.

I took Econ of Crime with Levitt, and it was unbelievable how much more interesting he was in person.
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Posted by GregT at 2007-04-19 23:59:00
Freakonomics is great fun for what it is: pop-economics. Probably more eye-opening for people in other fields.
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Posted by Eric at 2007-04-20 00:08:51
I concur. When the book started with "I'm not that great at mathematics", I mentally cringed, but the truth is that math is solid, but simple.
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Posted by Margaryta at 2007-06-06 11:59:31
I had the same reaction to Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink" and "The Tipping Point" - "duh!". But I adore Freakonomics. Kats, I think the issue here is that it's below your level - you're simply too smart for it, like (I'd like to think) I am for Gladwell's works. If you find books that are eye-openers for you, recommend them to me, please (and for once, this is not sarcasm).
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Posted by stak at 2007-06-06 20:28:00
Hm.. I liked Blink, although not so much The Tipping Point. In fact, I'm planning on reading stuff by Paul Ekman (the scientist who catalogued all those facial expressions mentioned in Blink) next.

I haven't been reading too much other non-fiction recently. The only other thing of note has been "A Brief History of Time" (I also flipped through the better, newer, updated version: "A Briefer History of Time") by Stephen Hawking. If you're interested in quantum physics/the plight of the universe, I highly recommend it.
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