March 25, 2006

One of the things that has struck me in the process of raising children is just how much I hear about what they suggest is best for your child. No one really knows who they are. When we were at the hospital, we kept hearing nurses and doctors tell us about they. As the hospital personnel referred to they, they clearly weren’t part of they. If they aren’t they, then who is?

(Thank you for continuing to read past that last paragraph, because there actually may be a point coming.) I read Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner this week. The book is based on the research of economist Steven Levitt, and the introduction claims that neither his work, nor this book, have a unifying theme.

I did find there to be one unifying theme that made the book so enjoyable. It’s all about unconventional thinking. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it. Most every chapter presents a few commonly held understandings, shows statistically why those understandings are inaccurate, and then suggests a more accurate understanding. It’s about questioning what they say, because oftentimes, they are wrong.

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