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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Freakonomics

I read Freakonomics today, the first day of my annual post-Christmas reading binge. This is possibly the most blogged book of 2005, so I'll keep my comments to a paragraph.

I now understand why this book has been such a commercial success since it is quite interesting and a breezy read. While the passages on basic economic principles, such as those explaining that human beings respond to incentives, seem very basic to someone like me with a background in the subject, the applications of basic econ to broader social issues cover some unconventional territory, making this book fun because it is basically a bunch of engaging anecdotes strung together. And clocking in at 207 pages, the book only takes a few hours to polish off. Much as the authors tout it as a revolutionary way of thinking, the book will probably be remembered (by me at least) primarily for the informative passages about topics ranging from real estate agents, crack gangs, the KKK and sumo wrestling.