Archive for May, 2010


So we’re in this Middle Place, haven’t selected another book, haven’t met about Freakonomics.

I know some have said they’d be fine picking a new and just moving on.  Personally, I’d like to discuss Freakonomics with some folks (I found the book interesting, find you all interesting, guessing lively conversation & banter would ensue) 

I’m up for conversation over coffee with folks.  Anyone interested?


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What’s Next?

Hey everyone!
We had our two botched mtgs on Freakonomics; what should we do next?

Do you still want to meet & discuss it?

Or just pick a new book?

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Dear Readers,

I have a question for you all.  Are there times when you stop reading a book?
Recently I checked out a book from the library, I’ll admit I didn’t know much beyond a summary of a couple of sentences.

During the prologue the author clearly states the book will discuss breast cancer, and a parent being ill, both issues that resonate with me and push me emotionally.

I think I’ll continue reading it (at least the writer gave a warning) but it made me think about when I have abandoned books in the past.

What makes you leave a book?

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Questions for Tuesday

I’ve done a bit of light research and found questions that discuss “Freakonomics.” Obviously there’s no way we will be able to get to them all, but I wanted to post them here so people would have the time to go over them rather than have on the spot responses.

The questions will cover the entirety, so consider this your Spoiler Alert.

From Book Browse

  1. Most people think of economics as a dry subject matter concerning monetary and fiscal matters. How does Freakonomics change this definition?
  2. Freakonomics argues that morality represent the way we’d like the world to work, whereas economics can show how the world really does work. Do you agree?
  3. Freakonomics lists three varieties of incentives: social, moral, and financial. Can you think of others?
  4. Freakonomics shows how the conventional wisdom is often shoddily formed. What are some instances of conventional wisdom that you’ve always doubted?
  5. Does it seem as though “experts” truly hold too much power in the modern world, or are we lucky to have them?
  6. What are some issues in your daily life toward which you can apply some Freakonomics-style thinking?
  7. What were some of the most convincing arguments put forth in Freakonomics? What were some of the least convincing?
  8. How does the argument linking Roe v. Wade to a drop in crime change your thinking about abortion?
  9. How does the view of parenting in Freakonomics jibe with your own view?
  10. After reading Freakonomics, do you think that cheating is more prevalent or less prevalent than you thought it was before you read the book?

From Bestsellers

  • Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner claim there is no unifying theme to Freakonomics. Do you agree? How would you describe the central idea of Freakonomics? What is the purpose of the book?
  • Why do you think Levitt and Dubner include snippets from the New York Times Magazine article between chapters? What does this add to the book?
  • Do you buy Levitt and Dubner’s claim that conventional wisdom is often wrong? What is the role of conventional wisdom in society?
  • Why do you think more parents at the Israeli day care came late after the financial penalty was added? Are their situations in your life where guilt is a better motivator than money?
  • Do you believe Levitt and Dubner’s findings about Chicago school teachers and sumo wrestlers cheating? Did the findings surprise you?
  • How do you think the Internet is changing the information advantage of experts and secret societies (like real estate agents and the KKK)?
  • Were you surprised by how similar the Black Disciples’ organizational structure was to corporations like McDonalds? Why do you think people perceive drug dealers as well off financially?
  • Do you buy Levitt and Dubner’s argument that the drop in crime in the 1990s was the result of Roe v. Wade? What are the strengths and weaknesses of their argument?
  • Do you agree that there is little parents can do to influence whether their children are successful? Do you think there are high-end and low-end names?
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    Make a Request!

    Obviously one of the most important decisions with a Book Club is what to read. 

    An easy and fair idea has been brought up of people posting or submitting ideas, then having a selection drawn. 

    If you have a suggestion–post it here! 

    If you’re interested in the CALS book club kits their website is here.
    Personally I don’t mind picking up my own copy if there’s something not on the list. 
    (If you prefer or have the option I believe CALS offers E-Books or Audio books for some selections)

    I know Laman Library may have options as well.

     There’s no restrictions on number of suggestions. 
    Thanks everyone!

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    Hello everyone! 
    After a bit of discussion the decision was made to set up a blog for our group.   Hopefully it will serve many purposes for us:   a message board for planning., a space to bring up discussion topics, questions, comments, etc., and it will have details from meetings (so if a person can’t make it they won’t be entirely left out) 

    Another bonus: this can serve as a reference point so there won’t be dozens of emails to go through.

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    Welcome to the LRTweadup blog, our online discussion of the book we are currently enjoying together.  Here’s to great reading, and great conversation!

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