« 'Too young to choose' | Main | Dear Sir: F*** You »

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Review of Freakonomics, Part Two: In which I criticize some critics and explain how the book is like a blog--in the good way (I think)

A number of reviews have criticized Freakonomics for not having a unified theory. I agree with the characterization, but disagree that this is grounds for criticism. There's no reason a few interesting essays with a little more than a single general theme (in this case, applying methodologies used by economists to explain everyday life) shouldn't be bound together in a single volume.

(More great insight after the jump.)

Indeed, the trouble with many works of non-fiction is that they are overlong. A good rule of thumb: When the thesis of a book can be recited in a single sentence, there is probably no reason (with a few exceptions) the book can't be an article. I, for one, am glad to have the opportunity to find all of the interesting pieces in this book in one place.

Think of it as the equivalent of a volume of short stories by a single author.

Actually, think of it as a blog. Kind of. Consider: A blog usually has a single unifying theme. In our case, the theme is "Discussing law-related subjects and whatever else we feel like." Few people would read a blog post that goes on for screens and screens about a single topic. (Indeed, how many of you are still reading this one? That's kind of meta, when you think about it.  Drop a comment if you made it this far.) What you want is to read our thoughts on a range of topics, consider them, and in some cases discuss them. And perhaps call us names.

That's what you can do with Freakonomics, which even has its own associated blog, and that's a good thing.

Posted by Hillel Levin on May 5, 2005 at 04:15 PM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c6a7953ef00d835108fc553ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Review of Freakonomics, Part Two: In which I criticize some critics and explain how the book is like a blog--in the good way (I think):

Comments

Post a comment