08 October 2005

Freakonomics

Holy crap, if you can read this article without your blood pressure rising at least once, you must be in a really unique place on the ideological spectrum. (Is there only one spectrum?) Still, I agree with Scot McKnight; it's the sort of thing that should be read and discussed.

2 comments:

Helen said...

Modest Proposals Anonymous. This book is actually what inspired Bennett to say what he did about blacks not too long ago.

Oddly, my blood pressure did not rise, but I think it's because a certain troll from the Gathering the Next Generation yahoogroup doesn't go a day without showing me just how narrowminded and judgmental a human being can be. At least Card uses something resembling reason to make his points. And I think it does bear examination in that God is inscrutible and may well guide us in ways we cannot fathom. I am ambivalent about abortion. As a social and moral issue, it is at the top of a gigantic iceberg.

Jayce from Rochester said...

I found it a frustratingly tight argument until he got to the part where he said, "But no one has yet demonstrated a single ill effect from 'repression.'" Ok, let me give you one buddy: the gay kid who kills himself because his sexuality are repressed and he doesn't understand why he's so dirty. Check your "facts" first.

It's why my "make ignorance hurt" ideology falls apart. The idea is two rules: don't be ignorant, and if you catch someone being ignorant then punch them. Everyone forgets the first rule.

However, the overarching flaw was that statistical analysis makes something more real. Something like that anyway ... along the lines that the people who believed something intuitively, when proved wrong empirically, are therefore idiots. I'll need to talk in person sometime about this to hone the thought into something coherent.

The book sounds really fascinating, though.

Perhaps it touches on my own frustration: that the identification of a domain expert is left to reporters and editors of media. Business person so-and-so is an expert on how a downtown casino will affect the community ... or closer to home for both Mike and I are the "computer security experts" who are dubbed as such by people who see a computer science degree and lump all that stuff into "computer nerd" -- what the heck does a game programmer know about e-mail viruses?

Oops ... ranting a bit there.