Tuesday, September 27, 2005

You can't judge a book by its cover (or can you)

It the case of Freakonomics versus The Tipping Point, heck ya.

Who's gonna win in a fight? A match or an orange in fuji apple clothing. No contest. Freakonomics layeth the smackdown on The Tipping Point, beating it like a government mule that owes money to Levitt and Dubner.

And that's with not even the cracking of the spine. Popping these literary works open illustrates an even more pronounced disparity. Freakonomics is peppered with top drawer examples of fodder for cocktail hour discussions for weeks on end. What do the KKK and real estate agents have in common? Why Sumo wrestlers and teachers cheat? These are the questions I have been asking since 7th grade and now I finally have answers!

I was eager to get my next fix courtesy of Mr. Gladwell. For some reason, in my mind the tipping point was going to be in line with the 100th monkey theory. Sadly, it was more in line with that scene from america's funniest home videos where a monkey picks its butt, sniffs it and falls off a log. Seriously, half the stuff out of there is psych 101 and common sense. I reached my tipping point at page 111 and decided watching german mtv was more intellectually stimulating. Then again, I am but a simple man.

In the TP's defense, its initials are the same as toilet paper and the part about the effect of reordering social networks on outbreaks of the clap in charm city was cute, but in no way compares to a book with a chapter on name selection that puts "Benjamin" among the top 5 high-end white boy names among the well educated population.

Take that Jordan!

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