Monday, August 13, 2007

Since the first post was kind of a cheat...

... and I am way more interested in posting than I am in working, I will give you a second post today.

For those of you that talk to me regularly you probably know I am a big fan of a book called Freakonomics. It is a well written, down to Earth take on some real world issues and gives you different ways of looking at them.

Here is a very quick example of some of the contentions of the book:

Roe v Wade was actually responsible for a significant drop in crime in the US.

Measuring teachers and school districts on the results of standardized testing leads to teacher cheating.

Reading to your child has little or no impact on their intellectual development, but having a lot of books available does.

Without reading the book none of that information means anything, but I was trying to whet your intellectual whistle a little bit. Read the book. It will teach you something, either about the world or about yourself. One thing it helped me with was asking the right questions when confronted with a situation.

Overall the book really trained me to ask the question, "Is this information relevant to the topic at all, or should I be looking for different information." It is a GREAT way to tune your personal BS filter.

Be that as it may I am writing this post for two reasons. First, I suggest everyone read this book. You may reject everything in it as hogwash and you may decide the questions the authors end up asking are wrong, but I guarantee you you'll be thinking about the book long after you are finished reading it. Secondly, I want to let you know that the authors, in association with the New York Times have a blog. It becomes severely pretentious at times as these guys do get wrapped up in themselves. Overall, however, it is a brilliantly written, thought provoking blog and it will give you something very interesting to think about almost every day.

Check it out It is a daily read for me.

No 1 of Consequence

***EDITOR'S NOTE*** I know I wrote about this about a month or two ago, but I didn't feel like I gave it the attention it deserved. So for the second time today I am cheating you out of real content. Bad No 1!! The Freakonomics blog has also been linked on the sidebar for all eternity.


Butch said...

I'm just wondering if you saw this post on Freakonomics: "If You Were a Terrorist, How Would You Attack?"

It created a lot of controversy. Since the Freakomics blog is hosted by NY Times, one of the idiots on Fox News reported it as "New York Times giving terrorists ideas on how to attack us"

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