Skip navigation

Category Archives: statistics

This is a sequel to this team’s first book, Freakonomics.

Super Freakonomics, like Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, is a testament to the power of statistics, and the surprising information it reveals. For example, believe it or not, it is actually safer to drive home from a party drunk, than to walk. Stuff like that.

But the tone of the book is too chatty, especially in relation to the serious topics that it explores. Modern warfare, drug addiction and prostitution have enough pain and suffering that anyone touching on them should tip their hat to that reality. These authors were a little too cavalier for me. I got tired of the snappy turns of phrases.

My score: C + (and that’s being generous)

Its a good quick read! You can skim: he should’ve had a better editor. Its really about marketing – in lay terms – and what motivates people in their buying decisions, and how this knowledge is used to manipulate buyer behavior. It also covers social behavior and the underlying factors in the choices we make: and they’re not what you’d think.

He’s had an amazing life: suffered 3rd degree burns on 70% of his body when fifteen. He’s spent the past 30 years slowly reconstructing and healing, mainly through force of will and the simple desire to survive.

I say: A – (the minus for wordiness)

This guy breaks the mold. He’s dead smart but talks plain English. He understands the intersection between analog and digital as it relates to information like nobody else. And he’s got wild ideas: the digital world has unleashed the constraints of physical organization, and thus allowed, for the first time, the “miscellaneous” to have a place at the table, so to speak. (for his idea of the miscellaneous think Chris Anderson’s Long Tail but not just commerce).

Check out excellent video at Google Tech Talks.

A ++ baby.

Why Video Games are Good for Your Soul

This should be a runaway best seller. Gee gets to the heart of why you can’t ignore video games, why they’re revolutionizing the way people think and learn, and why you and I need to know about them.

My take on it: A plus plus baby!

Outliers

I couldn’t put it down… it’s spare eloquence never wasted my time and yet told great stories. And it is non-fiction. Its about exceptional people, and how they got there.

There are reasons for even the most seemingly unexplainable coincidences: why do so many pro hockey players have January birthdays, and why are so many giants of the computer industry (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Bill Joy) born within a year of each other?

I’m in love with Malcolm Gladwell’s brain. And its a good fun read…

Boils down to: A plus