Thursday, April 5, 2012

1. MLA documentation for "Freakonomics"

Levitt, Steven and Dubner, Stephen J.. "Freakonomics". New York. William Morrow. April 12, 2005


10. Praiseworthyness in "Freakonomics"

"Freakonomics" is an interesting book, the concepts are tied in very well with the economic side. The subjects he    decided to write about are stimulating and catch you off guard on how the world really looks like. The data he provides to support his arguments is mind altering, they change your perspective on what you can really believe and what you should go out to find a better answer for.  It is not the same thing over again in each chapter, Levitt  distorts them into completely different topics that economics deals with tying them together in a harmonious way.

11. shortcomings in "Freakonomics"

The book is very dry and emotionless, it might be a struggle for some people to get through.  If you are not into statistics and a lot of data this is not the book for you, it is packed full of that stuff.  You have to be able to bare the topics he has chosen to write about. Other than that it is a good book, if you can get pass the fact of the large amount of statistics and very news like writing style, that is like you are reading off of the teleprompter straight from the source.

9. Main theme

The main theme was to get to the conclusion economics governs the world and it is flexible in all fields, being able to be versatile in a variety of different subjects including sumo wrestlers and teachers cheating, abortion reducing crime, to perfect parenting. It is the force behind all things in the world and role in daily lives that our unconscious notices, but we are oblivious to our true surrounds, while economics sets us on the right path again. That the world is not what it seems and he has set out on a journey to find the answers using his degree to his benefit getting statistics and uncommon data.

8. Compare and contrast

My first book was "Holy the Firm" which was about a women that lived close to a hermits life for a couple months, observing everything in her daily life. It was more about ethical questions and interpretation of the reader on the point she was getting at. She talked about a changing God and other morals in life. While "Freakonomics is the complete opposite it deals with the whole world and everything is presented with data and straight forward.  The are two very different books one on the life of any individual living with only the necessities for survival, but the other is world wide based with subject matters on a variety of aspects in life tied into economics. "Holy the Firm" comes from the beliefs in the mind and uses the readers mind to get a point across, "Freakonomics" uses data and real life situations to get statistics proving the point like we are watching the news.

7. Major incidents

In chapter three, this deals with the economics of drug-dealing. Most of the evidence in the chapter came from Sudhir Venkatesh, who studied a gang and got the financial records of it giving them to Levitt. This proved a common misconception of having wealthy dealers, where most of the money goes to the high ranked members, while the few get barely any. He compared the gang to McDonalds, where the few executive or manages of the
establishment prosper from the work of thousands of laborers. The data gave evidence that dealers get less than minimum wage and have a higher risk of death.

In chapter five Levitt talks about what makes a perfect parent from an economic view. He gathered support from his research that a child is at a higher risk of dying in a pool than playing with a gun by 100 times. And that positive parenting is more important than what you do, like where you are placed in socioeconomic status and parental education than any other practice. These factors are important in determining high standardized test scores in children include: highly educated parents, high socioeconomic status, maternal age of greater than thirty when the child was born, low birth weight, English as the primary language spoken in the home, and many books in the home environment. Additionally, if a child if adopted they tend to have lower standardized test scores than non-adopted children in the educational system.

In the introduction , he talks about the morality and economics in relation to each other. “Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work, whereas economics represents how it actually does work.” This explains the beliefs of the people are misguided on what the world really is like, but economics is like a dart hitting a bulls-eye, it is precise and shows whats true behind all of the corruption of our own minds. "Since the science of economics is primarily a set of tools, as opposed to a subject matter, then no subject, however offbeat, need be beyond its reach." Telling us that no matter what scenario it is, economics will always be able to come up with an answer to the questions of the world.

6. Most important element in the story

The most important element to this book would be the events. Events are the main thing in the book, while time and place are there, the events is what make the book and be able to be full of statistics about incentives of people for a better life. Without the events there would not be anything for "Freakonomics" to write and have data for. They provide the book with the subjects for the arguments in each chapter.  Additionally, they provide a background of history around they world with the statistics from sumo wrestlers to giving a child a name in the U.S..

5. Mood of "Freakonomics"

The tone of the book was serious and informative in the chapters. This is because of the subjects he is writing about and all of the data used within the stories. "If you learn how to look at data in the right way, you can explain riddles that otherwise might have seemed impossible. Because there is nothing like the sheer power of numbers to scrub away layers of confusion and contradiction." (pg 13) This explains how all of his arguments were looked at and used data to get the best answer. "Isaac Ehrlich wrote a paper in 1975 which is often used as the “proof” that the death penalty works. According to his paper, 1 execution saves 7 lives." (pg 125) These statistics are where the research had to go through to find that very detail for the book and be able to use it, which was in a chapter about legalized abortion reducing crime. "One black man seems to experiment with whether this notion has any validity by naming his two sons Winner and Loser." (ch 6) This is proving the fact names provide a bit of an ego and behavior different between them. Winner had a higher self esteem and as he go older had more criminal offences because of what his name is associated with and made him feel invincible. While Loser had a less active life that became an police officer to prove himself and because of his name being associated with negative attributes had a more conceded and quiet life than his ego boosted brother. These are all instincts where data and having to back them up with proof came in and showed how serious he was in "Freakonomics".

4. The kind of person the author is

He is very scholarly and data based person.  He is a economist and it shows in the book with all of the figures and statistics packed inside.  The author knows what he is talking about and that you can trust him on the subject matters he puts into his book. By all of the data he collected that is in the book, it can be reasonable suspected that he did his research and traveled around to get the answers to his proposals and make sure Levitt had them right and usable in his book.

3. comments about content of "Freakonomics"

The purpose of "Freakonomics" was to inform the readers on the hidden life behind economics with incentives.  In chapter one he talks about how sumo wrestlers winning and how they would be shunned in their town for losing and have to win 8 matches, but when they only have 7 and their opponent has 8 which was in there favor. The wrestler with 7 won 80% of the time, which meant their opponent helped them win for their honor. Additionally how teachers would help students cheat on high stake tests, and by this it was stated that there were more correct answers on the difficult end of the section questions, than in the easier general questions at the beginning of it.  This book is like you would be watching it on the news or reading it in the paper, it is full of analysis and data about real life events going on in the world.

2. "Freakonomics"

I selected this book, for the eye catching title.  By the way the evaluation and background searching, it seems like a very interesting concept.  Secondly I am into bringing the human mind and perspective to different fields of study, it makes you look at the world in a changed attitude towards life.