Flying and Freakonomics

I was flying back to the Isle of Man today and passing through the “Duty Free” section at the airport. I managed to tear my way from the IWC watches and other gadgets (lots of fun stuff at Dixons) and ended up in Books etc looking for something to read on the flight. I finally got round to buying Freakonomics, which I have been meaning to read for a couple of years now and I am really pleased with my purchase. It has some brilliant insight into human behaviour and society in general, using number crunching techniques to come up with an validate some really interesting ideas.

I love the view on blogging they provide in the Preface for this revised edition. Here’s what they say:

We have also included a variety of writings from our blog (http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/), like this revised edition, was not planned. In the beginning, we built a website merely to perform archival and trafficking functions. We blogged reluctantly, tentatively, infrequently. But as the months went on, and as we discovered an audience of people who had read Freakonomics and were eager to bat its ideas back and forth, we took to it more enthusiastically.

A blog, as it turns out, is an author’s perfect antidote for that sickening feeling of being dead in the water once a manuscript has been completed. Particularly for a book like this one, a book of ideas, there is nothing more intoxicating than to be able to extend those ideas, to continue to refine and challenge and wrestle with them, even as the world marches on.

It’s all about the conversation after all. Nice to see that they really get it! Love the book. Much recommended.

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