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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2005
Calling this a book on economics hasn't scared people away - with the book #3 on the Amazon.com listings and #5 here on .ca, people are clearly buying into the author's quirky insights into the world around us.
Freakonomics is an interesting collection of observations, never conceding to any agenda whatsoever. It's entertaining, but never really takes you anywhere. Personally, I would have hoped that it would at least attempt to spur interest in economics and econometric methods, but in the end it reads more like an episode of Seinfeld - a book about, well, nothing.
It's an easy read, achievable on a single rainy day, and certainly not challenging for the average reader with no economics background. But I would encourage folks who do pick it up to consider the usefulness of the correlation/causality distinction and the methods of analysis beyond the description here. Not many of you will pick up an economics or statistics text because of this, but maybe if there were more books like this which make it interesting and applicable in our daily lives, we would all have a better understanding and appreciation for our strange little world at large.
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on August 25, 2006
This book is more an effect of having integrated a still-to-be-proven scientific theory, within a "pseudo-philosophy" (as for Smith's theories about linking freedom and the innihilation of War with pece and harmony over the World), and ... Thus the later would actually present the later philosphy as a bunch of dogmatic perceptions (neo-darwiinism - nowadays, the whole part about "Natural Selection" is questioned, in light of recent genetical experiments and findings contradicting this specific issue about Darwin's theory). But hey, such a theory really suits those economists who believe in "human categorization" as a mesure to JUGE anyone (normal, that's what they must do for their financial or market analysis)... Many "self-fulfilling" prophecies in the end (setting the stage for making whatever "prophecy" happen), by suggesting some theory with "bold-logic" - perceptions, indirectly encouraging people to act according to it.

Must also recommend the books: ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY and POST OFFICE for "Fiction" books to read. Hey, you don't want to just read the practial stuff, now do you?
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on March 14, 2006
People are clearly buying into the author's quirky insights into the world around us.
Freakonomics is an interesting collection of observations, never conceding to any agenda whatsoever. It's entertaining, but never really takes you anywhere. Personally, I would have hoped that it would at least attempt to spur interest in economics and econometric methods, but in the end it reads more like an episode of Seinfeld - a book about, well, nothing.
It's an easy read, achievable on a single rainy day, and certainly not challenging for the average reader with no economics background. But I would encourage folks who do pick it up to consider the usefulness of the correlation/causality distinction and the methods of analysis beyond the description here. Not many of you will pick up an economics or statistics text because of this, but maybe if there were more books like this which make it interesting and applicable in our daily lives, we would all have a better understanding and appreciation for our strange little world at large. A great novel to read is by George Kostantinos and his bestseller~The Quest.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2006
After shunning it on the bestsellers shelves of the bookstore for a long time I finally decided to browse through this book when I was visiting my friend's home. I immediately became engrossed in it. Freakonomics, without being philosophical, presents a new way of looking at things (purportedly - but not quite -- everything). The authors do a great job in making the book flow from cover to cover with a continuous barrage of startling conclusions. You might not agree with everything that they are saying but you will definitely feel a jolt in the way you look at some issues. I found a few problems in their approach here and there, e.g. I thought the authors were overly cynical of "experts", also their reliance on statistics in drawing conclusions about people and society could benefit from scrutiny - but then we'd be getting too philosophical and their approach in this regard is in keeping with current practices in the social sciences anyway.

If the book can be read with a grain of salt however, there is a lot to be benefited from it. I think one should keep in mind when reading this book is that more than the particular issues that are addressed what's important is the *way* of looking at things. I can't stress this enough because I have heard people complain about one particular example or another as a fatal flaw in the book; if you fall into this trap you're missing the boat in my opinion. I think the book can be read profitably by just reading the introduction and one or two of the other chapters.

I could have done without the hype in the book, the book has a lot going for it, and it didn't need all the hype in the introduction and throughout. Also, I found Dubner's rather incessant hero-worshipping of Levitt rather annoying. These are minor issues though in comparison to what you'll get from reading this book. I recommend this book. I am pretty sure I will reread it.
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on October 18, 2010
I ordered this book as a gift. It arrived in good condition and within a reasonable period of time. I would order from this supplier again.
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on April 13, 2015
Loved this! A fun way to look at how choices affect/change our lives.
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