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A friend recommended this book, so I thought I’d give it a read. I was really impressed with the spirit of the book and I’d definitely recommend it. I felt like there were two themes to the book:

1) Correlation does not imply causality. People often find a correlation between two or more things and assume that correlation demonstrates a causal relationship between those things. This isn’t necessarily true and there are often many other factors that need to be considered.

2) Asking “Why?” can help us discover very unusual and interesting things. Accepting opinions and hypotheses without scrutiny can lead us to false conclusions and rob us of genuine understanding. Repeatedly asking “Why?”, even when the answer seems obvious or at least trivial, can help us uncover interesting relationships between seemingly unrelated things.

It was a pretty quick read, but it helped me see that I should probably be thinking deeper and more critically than I typically do.

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  1. I also just finished freakonomics a week or two ago….if you liked freakonomics, i’d recommend blink or the tipping point by malcolm gladwell…its of the same sort of genre and they spawned the niche that freakonomics fits in…much more interesting reads. Freakonomics bogs down near the end with the analysis of the schools i thought. Also freakonomics, self admittedly, has no real overarching theme. Gladwell ties together his cool lil stories and makes a better point than just a bland “open up your eyes” kind of thing.

    you can preview what gladwell has to offer at….

  2. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll take a look at Gladwell’s stuff. I agree that Freakanomics bogs down near the end… I remember skimming a lot of the final pages.