I’m now reading two books that I’ve been interested in for some time. Freakonomics, given to me for my birthday a while ago, is quite a good read. And a friend lent me Collapse, which I started and I found to be brilliant and, at least in the intro, disengenuous. Diamond argues again and again that his studies of the collapse of ancient cultures and societies because of poor human interaction with environments do not necessarily correlate to our modern societies and cultures. But then he continues to make the point that his studies probably are applicable. It’s like he doesn’t want to get too much credit if the sh*t hits the fan and he doesn’t want to get too little credit if the sh*t hits the fan but in both cases, he knows he’s right.
Anyway, I came up with some alternative names for Freaknomics, which is a good read. The name of the book is accurate because the book, despite its attempt to argue that the authors are studying unusual economic practices, are really just studying practices. There’s no real economics in the book. Rather, the authors, who twist a good story around their studies of human behavior, examine the oddities of relationships among people that also happen to have something to do with money. Economics, or “the social science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services and with the theory and management of economies or economic systems,” doesn’t really come into play much in the book.
Without further ado, here are some revisionist titles I thought I’d share:
- Phenomenomics (my favorite)