Saturday, March 13, 2010
The Questions We Ask
"The Hidden Side of Everything" is the introductory chapter of Freakonomics, by Levitt and Dubner.
Just like this beach. What you see is only part of what is.
The important questions, the authors contend, are those not asked, those not on the surface.
"Why Do Drugs Dealers Still Live With Their Moms? You'd think this is all about the immaturity of those men who deal cocaine. What we learn is that the questions we ask, the facts we collect, the polls we take, all ask the wrong questions. They are mostly superficial.
We collect lots of data.
We examine lots of problems.
We tabulate lots of information that will help us decide our next steps.
If we just admire the ocean in this picture, we miss seeing the ocean.
Freakonomics is a marvelous read.