Freakonomics A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Freakonomics brings together many combinations of thoughts that one wouldn’t find relevant in companionship. The two authors discuss comparisons that are so off the wall, that you almost question reading the book; however, that is the reason many read the book in the first place. The authors Levitt and Dubner compare in one chapter of Freakonomics the reason why drug dealers live with their moms. Throughout this chapter, the authors discuss questions about why intelligent people sometimes do not ask questions that people really care about, advertising and surveys, and why, in general, do drug dealers still live with their moms. The use of testimonial evidence is prudent in the chapter because its proof builds the case for the qualitative evidence used during the drug dealing section of the chapter. I will discuss these three topics in detail and analyze the author’s contributions to the arguments they present, by evaluating how the argument was portrayed based on the evidence given in the book.
“But if you can question something that people really care about and find an answer that may surprise them—that is, if you can overturn the conventional wisdom—then you may have some luck” (Levitt and Dubner 87). What Levitt and Dubner meant by this passage, is that if you divulge yourself into questions, ridiculous or not, you might find something you are looking for. If there are unanswered questions, and no one is asking them, they are “bound to yield uninteresting answers” (Levitt and Dubner 87). Meaning, people are not usually asking questions in which they are not interested in the answers. From a personal note, I think that it is interesting why drug dealers still live with their moms, just for general knowledge, but I would have never thought to ask the question. Therefore, I find that throughout this topic of discussion from Freakonomics, the author’s use examples that help clarify the reader’s curiosity to why such a question should be asked in the first place, and thus, setting the reader’s mind to think about the following topics in the chapter.
The second point I aim to prove, is the author’s use of advertising and examples of misused surveys to prepare the reader for the chapter’s topic. The evidence in this section is based on an example of Mitch Snyder, who was an advocate for homeless people, a Listerine advertising campaign, and the Atlanta Police Department’s instantly cleaner image to prepare for the 1996 Olympic Games. All three of these examples leave the reader feeling like they have just wasted 15 minutes reading something that does not even pertain to the chapter’s content.
Levitt and Dubner use Mitch Snyder’s case as an example to show how surveys and statistics, when given in error, provide the media with an informational field day. Snyder was an activist for homeless people who...