Freakonomics , another very popular book among the reader community turned out to be like a novel with a BIG difference. The difference being that of using data to show interesting results to interesting questions.
The book as such has no underlying theme, but only urges the readers to ask a lot of questions and then use data to challenge some of the conventional wisdom in the society .
Steven D. Levitt dwells on the following questions:
- What do sumo wrestlers and teachers have in common?
- How is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of real estate agents ?
- Why do drug dealers still live with their moms ?
- Where have all the criminals gone in USA, considering the drastic reduction in violence rate ?
- What makes a perfect parent ?
- Does a name matter in the success of an individual ?
A first look at the questions itself show that there are very different .Infact the answers to some of them are so obvious / seem stupid that no researcher would even ask them , leave alone analyse them in the first place. However author tries to glean the data and come up with very interesting results.
To summarize, this book is less about answering a set of questions and more about asking a lot of questions, taking the effort to understand the importance of test and control groups while doing the analysis and challenging the conventional wisdom.
Overall, a fun read for any person who enjoys stats . I am sure any person reading this book would atleast make an effort in asking a lot of questions and not accept conventional wisdom blindly.