Thursday, February 09, 2006

What are you reading?

Every time I go to a conference, a speaker suggests a book to me that I wouldn't normally read. Cynthia Cheng-Correia of KnowledgeInform spoke to the Upstate New York Chapter of the Special Libraries Association. She mentioned being blown away by the conclusions drawn in Freakonomics. I got the book out of the library and was intrigued. For example, the authors, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, argue that the drop in violent crime rates can be traced to a drop in violent criminals. A drop in violent criminals can be traced to the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion - thus, less unwanted children born into the world. From the author's web site: "Legalized abortion led to less unwantedness; unwantedness leads to high crime; legalized abortion, therefore, led to less crime."

This may sound like crackpot economics. Before you jump to your own conclusions, read the book for the author's complete analysis. And make a suggestion here for a book that you've read that offered something unexpected.

3 comments:

Roger Owen Green said...

ABC News has been doing an irregular series from Freakonomics, which challenges the conventional wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Another idividual who reviewed the book said "correlation does not equal causation".

Maybe personal responsibility, by both parents and children, leads to less crime.

Mary Beth said...

Here's Malcolm Gladwell's take on the arguments put forth in Freakonomics.