:: The Hidden Side to Everything ::
Finally finished reading Freakonomics:
A Rouge Economist Explores The Hidden Side to Everything
By Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner.
Fascinating book founded on a few fundamental ideas, which I quote:
1. Incentives are the conrnerstone of modern life.
And understanding them, or often, ferreting them out - is the key to
Solving just about any riddle from violent crime to sports cheating to online dating.
2. The conventional wisdom is often wrong.
Crime didn't help soaring in the 1990s, money alone doesn't win election, and
- surprise - drinking eight glasses of water a day has never actually been shown to
Do a think for your health. Conventional wisdom is often shoddily formed and
Devilishly difficult to see through, but it can be done.
3. Dramatic effects often have distant, even subtle, causes.
The answer to a given riddle is not always right in front of you.
4. 'Experts' - from criminologists to real-estate agents - use their
Informational advantage to serve their own agenda.
However, they can be beat at their own game. And in the face of the Internet,
Their information advantage is shrinking everyday - as evidenced by,
Among other things, the falling price of coffee and life-insurance premiums.
5. Knowing what to measure and how to measure it makes a complicated
World much les so.
If you can learn how to look at data in the right way, you can explain riddles
That otherwise might have seemed impossible. Because there is nothing like the
Sheer power of numbers to scrub away layers of confusion and contradiction.
There are many surprisingly revelations, such as the explanation to what
Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers have in common. Or what actually caused
A decline in crime rate. It left me wondering how about we live the world inundated by
Figures and numbers that we read off the press and in the news, about a booming
Economy and rising GDP and the like that makes us feel good about everything around us,
When there are actually critical figures that elude us, for fear that massive consumer
Unconfidence will lead to a demultiplier effect. Perhaps thus the current property bubble?
I have had the unneeded opportunity to test idea #3; that statistics, similar to words in
A act of law, can be manipulated to a great extent to serve the needs on the executor.
It always pays to be heedful.
I'm passing the book to the next friend that I meet who wants it. =)