by Sukey HowardNovember, 2005
Connecting the dots
You may be freaked out by listening to Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner's fascinating bestseller Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, but if you follow Levitt's carefully constructed, mind-stretching correlations, you will ultimately discover that you've been freaked in. If Levitt is a rogue, let's hope that "rogue" thinking and "rogue" analysis become mainstream. Levitt, professor of economics at the University of Chicago, and Dubner take the rigorous methods of economics and statistics and apply them to "the riddles of everyday life," such as why has the crime rate dropped nationwide? What's more dangerous: a swimming pool or a gun? How much do parents really matter? Though answers to questions like these may offend both sides of the political spectrum, they make you think and that never offends.