Tuesday, December 18, 2007

An interesting interview/book review

From the economists at Freakonomics (usually a breath of reality) at the NY Times.

A Shattered Peace - what happened during the construction of the Treaty of Versailles.

When I get done with The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, I may pick this one up. :^)

9 comments:

Bike Bubba said...

I don't share your views on Freakonomics; while they often get things right, more or less the method used is to use statistical methods to "search for a hypothesis," and they often (e.g. "abortion prevents crime" statistic) find themselves on the wrong side of other relevant evidence.

In other words, they tend to invert the scientific method in their work in the same way that evolutionists and global warming scammers do.

Marklark said...

But, Bert, the "abortion prevents crime" hypothesis is true -- at least numerically...

Though, perhaps generally, not in gravity.

Marklark said...

And, what did you think of the review?

Bike Bubba said...

Actually, a guy named Steve Sailer took that "abortion reduces crime" hypothesis and tested it. More or less, he noted that if Roe v. Wade had killed future criminals, we should have seen a plunge in juvenile crime in 1989-1990, as those kids killed would have come to adulthood.

Reality was that the drop in crime was entirely among adults. Other relevant data results in the rejection of Levitt's hypothesis.

And so I don't bother much with Levitt....I know and do about the same trade he does, but I think he's got some severe limitations in how he does it.

Marklark said...

Putting aside the fact that the review was written by one "Melissa Lafsky," and that Levitt is only one of the two(?) writers...

Did you like the review? Does it jibe with what you've read previously? Add to it?

My sense says that fewer people will result in fewer crimes. Of course, telling the remaining/surviving people that they're just lucky pieces of debris isn't going to keep them from attacking other lucky pieces of debris... *sigh*

Bike Bubba said...

I took a look, and....meh....still a little bit too much "top down" for my taste. To understand Versailles, you've got to simply understand that there were a bunch of young republics in central Europe that Versailles systematically impoverished through reparations. Can you come up with a better "Vote for Hitler" program than that?

And the abortion thing--classic example of the errors you have when you consider a man just the sum of his parts. Yes, fewer people should reduce crime, but not when you tell him that he's morally no different than a cow or wolf? Was it then any surprise that those who survived the abortuary acted like wolves in 1990?

Marklark said...

From my reading of the review, it sounds like you'd agree with it. *shrug*

And, yes, I agree with you on the insufficiency of economics to deal with things like sin, evolution, and abortion.

barb michelen said...
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CresceNet said...
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