As part of the Melbourne Writers Festival, ACMI is showing a lively adaptation of the bestselling book, Freakonomics. Getting back to the source, we take a look at the book that started it all.
Freakonomics, in a word, is controversial. In two, it is cynical. Human beings are incentive-driven, this best-seller claims, and it’s not short of examples. In accessible, easy-to-follow, break-down logic, Freakonomics explains how the legalisation of abortion is related to the decrease of crime rates and why real estate agents will never bother to get you ‘the best deal’. This is freakonomics, the measurement of how things really are, rather than what we have previously accepted as ‘common knowledge’.
Freakonomics asks the important questions in life, like ‘What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?’, ‘How is the Ku Klux Klan similar to a group of real estate agents?’, and ‘Why do drug dealers still live with their mums?’. The book reveals the answer to these questions and more, as it strips back the layers of folk-lore to reveal the sometimes uncomfortable truth.
Some Freakonomics facts:
- Teachers can cheat too if the incentives are right.
- You can make a decent living out of selling bagels.
- People didn’t care so much about bad breath until Listerine came onto the scene.
- A gang organisational chart is not so different to that of McDonald’s.
For your chance to win your own copy of the books Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics, leave a comment with your favourite urban myth or old wives tale. Both books are available for purchase from the ACMI Store.
Want to read more Freakonomics stuff? Check out the Freakonomics blog.