Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Freakonomics: The Movie

Freakonomics, the best-selling pop economics book by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, will soon be coming to a theatre near you. 
Or maybe it'll just come to Dallas. 

Remember the trend of about 5-6 years ago, when concerned Moms would politely ask "Are there any guns in your home?" before they would allow their little Dylan and Joplin to come over and play? 

Levitt and Dubner reveal that a swimming pool is 100 times more likely to kill a child than a gun.  Then they examing why we worry about guns more than we worry about swimming pools. 

The book examines why most inner-city drug dealers live with their mothers. 
They authors ask if a child's name can affect his future income. 
They look at thousands of standardized test scores, and develop a formula to reveal which teachers cheated to make themselves (and their schools) appear to be succesful. 

The book isn't about economics as much as how to think about a problem. 

Here's a link to the Freakonomics website.  

Their follow-up title, SuperFreakonomics, generated considerable controversy by recommending "Geoengineering" as a climate control solution, instead of requiring people to purchase Big Al Gore's Perpetual Motion Machines.  Go here and here for their blog posts on why they dared commit that heresy. 

Amazing stuff.  Great book.  Can't wait to see the documentary.  These guys are among the many reasons I started reading economics texts for fun. 
You can go here to see the film's website, which is still under construction, and you can go here for a New York Times piece about the film being chosen as the closer for the Tribeca Film Festival. 

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