Thursday, April 5, 2012

'Freakenomics' - Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Author's Purpose
In 'Freakonomics', the authors' purpose was to both inform and entertain.
In this book, Levitt and Dubner use real life, and sometimes humorous, examples to explain why things in society are the way they are.
Let’s take the 'Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?’ The authors use the real life story of Sudhir Venkatesh to both give facts to the reader and possibly make the seriousness of the issue 'lighten up'. While narrating the story about Mr. Venkatesh, they mention how this college graduate mathematician sat and drank beer with a group of dealers and even pee'd where they pee'd. In mere seconds, this researcher went form high class to drinking' with one of the lower classes. This is both humorous and ironic.
Not only this, but the author's used statistics to create a very interesting quote. According to statistics (according to the authors) one "stands a greater chance of dying while dealing crack in Chicago housing project than you do while sitting on death row in Texas". The authors had previously mentioned that Texas executed more prisoners than in any other state. Once you're on death row, the only thing that can stop you from getting stabbed with the needle is a call from the court telling an official to halt the execution. The fact that you stand a greater chance of dying dealing crack then being on death row is both astonishing and humorous.
In this chapter they even compare prostitutes to an architect. Though the architect has a license and a diploma, a prostitute makes more money.

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