Tuesday, November 15, 2005
The obvious comparison would be to Tipping Point, which I read last year. TP presented a new framework for thinking about trends and how they catch on, and thus is a really practical and useful way to think about the world. Freakonomics, on the other hand, is written in somewhat the same style but I would be hard pressed to say the thought approach Levitt takes is novel. Rather, it reminds me a lot of some of Carl Sagan’s books, which take the same skeptical approach to interesting problems.
All this isn’t to say that Freakonomics isn’t fun to read, because it is. However, the really interesting stuff is in the anecdotes and not the approach, and you might as well just read a one-paragraph summary of the anecdotes and not 20-25 pages for each one.