Sunday, May 20, 2007

Book on tape

At PB's urging, we listened to Freakanomics by Steven D. Leavitt and Stephen J. Dubner on tape across the course of several car trips. It took a while to get through, but I liked the experience.

The book was interesting - I think the authors are very good at reframing questions in new ways and looking for data sources to answer those questions. As an exercise in creativity in research I think it's brilliant. The link between abortion and violent crime is a particularly interesting hypothesis and I can't believe they actually came up with it.

That said, I feel that many of the authors demonstrations fall prey to the same crticisms they make of other research - they are almost all correlation / anecdote based. I guess I am too much of an experiementalist at heart. Sigh.

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