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Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

My first book review of the first book.

 

People in Linkedin recommend this book to me. "This book worth buying it home to worship". Another reason I choose this book is I want to know why business does not interest me that much when I was a teenager and become more and more interesting. 

 

I like the observation Steven has to common things. I like one word from this book the most: incentive. For most of the messy things happened to us worth asking what id the incentive. This world is truly complicated and takes time to understand it. Decomposing the event by analyzing the incentives of everyone involved it is always the good starting point. It sounds like a psychological term to me if they really think about it.  Actually, it could be an economics term that could be expressed using qualitative analysis method. Why would real state agents not try their best to sell your house but push you to get the deal done? How does foot drug dealer earn so little and living in such a dangerous environment yet still stick around the corner to sell cocaine? To what reason school teacher would help students to cheat which is actually happened when I was in elementary school? And an interesting phenomenon that the number of criminals suddenly gone to the point where everything seems go so bad? Parenting mattered that much if they involved in children like intensively?

 

I like and also dislike this book for the same point is they tell many stories. Some of them seem irrelevant and jumping around. When you only had time for reading 4 pages of this book and things seem to get deviated. It is a good thing when you have a bulk of time and is able to read a whole chapter when you are bathing. 

 

This is the first full English book I have ever read (shame on me). I am more focus on my experience than my take-home message.  

 

I want to end this review with a conversation happened between my friend and me:

I: I am reading a book "explores the hidden side of everything" named Freakonomics. 

F: what it tells you?

I: It tells you some conventional perception/intuition is not always right.  It turns out the opposite sometimes. 

F: Do they give you convincing data?

I: Yeah sometimes

F: Well, its good they show data to you. Still they might just give you an illusion that your "new" perception is the correct one, but in fact, it is not.

Hence: If I follow the "hidden side of everything" without thinking, I might just jump from an extreme to another extreme. 

 

P.S. After I finish reading this book, I went to a conference hearing people talked a theory in this book. People tend to think risk they can control is less risky compared to the risk they cannot control. They were talking about transgenetic food using car and airplane as the example. But it is a good thing, I learned it from the book beforehand!