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Freakonomics

By | December 2012
Page 1 of 4
Freakonomics a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything was written by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner that study everyday life and they reach conclusions with conventional wisdom. They researched about crack gangs, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, the truth about real estate agents, and answering questions like why drug dealers live with their moms, and which is more dangerous a gun or a swimming pool? There were several themes in this book such as knowing what to measure and how to measure it makes a complicated world much less so, incentives are the cornerstones of modern life, dramatic effects often have distance, even subtle causes, conventional wisdom is often wrong, and experts use their informational advantage to serve their own agenda. Levitt and Dubner’s most important theme is Conventional Wisdom is often wrong because they proved what the public thought was wrong such as swimming pools are more dangerous than guns and the actual wages of drug dealers. Conventional Wisdom is what the public thinks, but it is often proved wrong. The authors prove the theme that Conventional Wisdom is often wrong most compellingly. One way Levitt and Dubner prove their point that Conventional Wisdom is often wrong is in the discussion of why drug dealers live with their moms in Chapter 3. The authors explain how a university student studying Sociology that was living in Chicago, went into a building that was filled with gang members to make them take a survey. He was assigned to go to Chicago’s poorest black neighborhoods and make people take a multiple choice survey. But, the student, Venkatesh, didn’t know the building had gang members until he bumped into them. When Venkatesh asked the gang members questions, they laughed at him and tortured him a little, but they let him go home. Venkatesh went home trying to think of better questions and came back to the building asking the gang leader, J.T., if he could hang out with them. After convincing...

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