On my trip to London, the book that has been keeping my busy is Freakonomics. It’s been a best seller for awhile, and was one of the most blogged books of 2005. Probably helping that fact is that the authors contributed to the blogosphere by starting their Freakonomics blog, which is now a regular member of my blog roll.
Freaknomics is about using economic analysis to explain issues in everyday life, but mostly about crime and drugs. The authors feel that there is no underlying theme in the book, and it certainly reads that way with various topics concatenated with each other. However, I’ve come to believe that the main point is that legalized abortion resulted in lowering the crime rate, with the tangential stories bringing value to the reasoning.
The approach is very much suited to those in technical fields. The authors reason through their arguments by using statistics and statistical techniques. However, everyone knows that statistics can be manipulated and I can’t really prove either way if this has been done in the book. Without that knowledge, the compelling ideas that the authors weave can be intruiging or it may simply be wrong.