I’ve just been reading Crooked Timber posts on (and by!) Steve Levitt. I heartily recommend it. I read Kieren Healy’s and John Quiggin’s reviews but haven’t read the others yet. How these guys toss off such well written, informed and thought through stuff at the rate they do is a little beyond me.
Then I read Steve Levitt’s response.
I’m not sure whether it says more about my own shortcomings, or the quality of these five commentaries above on Freakonomics, that I gained a great deal of self-awareness from reading them. It was a surprising reaction for me. There have been many published reviews of Freakonomics, and not one of them has given me the slightest insight into myself. Strangely, though, I felt like I understand my own motivations and goals better than I did a few hours ago. For me, that has always been one of the greatest benefits of inter-disciplinary interactions. Self-awareness is a scarce commodity, and a valuable one, so I am quite grateful for this remarkable gift that Tyler Cowen, Henry Farrell, Tim Harford, Kieran Healy, and John Quiggin have given me.
So let me try to pay these guys back with some thoughtful responses to their comments.
So go read it and see for yourselves. To think that we have a new, well financed monthly mag that hasn’t dipped into the talent pool that can be discovered with ten minutes and a mouse is a sad sad thing. But why end on a whinge?
The blogosphere at its best. Enjoy!
PS: in my excitement I forgot to thank eminent physicist-turned-economist David Gruen for sending me the link. I visit CT a fair bit, but had missed it.