I could tell you how many steps make up the streets rising like stairways, and of the degree of the arcades' curves, and what kind of zinc scales cover the roofs; but I already know this would be the same as telling you nothing. The city does not consist of this, but of relationships between the measurements of its space and the events of its past...A description of Zaira as it is today should contain all Zaira's past. -Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Yet another book on my list to read is Freakonomics. I did see Levitt on the Daily Show a couple of weeks ago, and he seems to take an almost anthropological view of economics (well that is not so suprising, they are both social sciences, and economics is pretty important to they study of humans...actually when I wrote my dissertation I was suprised to suddenly find I had written about economics).

Anyway, he looks at everyday life and explains why conventional wisdom is often wrong, at least when viewed statistically. He also has a pretty interesting blog (which can be nicely read in small chunks, not as intimidating as that pile of books).

1 comment:

josepe.gomez@gmail.com said...

Yes. What the book make clear is that there is not a thing like "conventional wisdom". The real things of life are in a complicated web of mechanisms that is impossible to isolate to work with. When you ignore this and work with only a few of those mechanisms, very unexpected thing could happen.