Friday, July 29, 2005

Loving the Freaks

Attended a fascinating talk today by the authors of Freakonomics, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (who I did a little work for, back in 2002, and who was incredibly kind and set me up with an internship at the Voice.) Steven Levitt, if you haven't read the runaway bestseller or one of the many, many reviews or their column in the NYT Magazine, is an economist & applies rigorous data analysis to quirky, emotionally revealing situations. For example: one paper which he said today was one of his favorites looked at the economics of a crack gang and found that street-level dealers make about the same amount of $ as fast-food workers, which explains why they live with their mothers (a point well illustrated on The Wire.)

I was really interested in something Dubner said (which makes it kinda relevant for this blog):
He hopes the book's success will make attractive to journalists the idea of actually crafting fact-based stories. Don't just follow the 3-examples-makes-a-trend rule; in big dull government reports like this one lie thousands of untold stories.

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