Now Reading

Now Reading Prayers to Broken Stones by Dan Simmons.

Just finished Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt.

I’d like to start out by stating that this book is not quite what I was expecting. I was rather expecting something on how economies of scale create bizarre convergent behavior that results in the tragedy of the commons…. er, for example.

Instead, it’s more of a collection of short essays illustrating a few key theories. People are mostly honest, except when they have an incentive to cheat. Hoarding information can be a good strategy, but don’t rely on it. Organized crime is structured like a tournament. Given your first name and age, an educated guess can be made about your socioeconomic status. And, the drop in the nationwide crime rate in the 1990′s was due to Roe v. Wade in the 1970′s.

However, the theme of the book is mostly an admonishment not to confuse correlation with cause; conventional wisdom is often guilty of doing so and is not to be trusted.

While the book was well written and easy to read (I finished it in an afternoon, after procrastinating for a long while) and also interesting enough, it wasn’t quite as packed with exciting new ideas as I was hoping it would be.

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