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Freakonomics by Steven D. Levity and Stephen J. Dubner Quotes

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Freakonomics A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levity & Stephen J. Dubner

Book Synopsis:

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn the conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a ground-breaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple, unasked question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.

Favorite Lines from Freakonomics:

Levitt’s underlying belief: the modern world, despite a surfeit of obfuscation, complication, and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and – if the right questions are asked – is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.”

“…theories made their way, seemingly without friction, from the experts’ mouths to journalists’ ears to the public’s mind. In short, they became conventional wisdom.”

“Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work – whereas economics represents how it actually does work. Economics is above all a science of measurement.”

Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life.”

Experts – from criminologists to real-estate agents – use their informational advantage to serve their own agenda.”

Knowing what to measure and how to measure it makes a complicated world much less so.”

It may sometimes feel as if we are peering at the world through a straw or even staring into a funhouse mirror; but the idea is to look at many different scenarios and examine them in a way they have rarely been examined.”

Economics is at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.”

An incentive is a bullet, a lever, a key: an often tiny object with astonishing power to change a situation.”

Any incentive is inherently a trade-off; the trick is to balance the extremes.”

So inscrutable is the arrangement of causes and consequences in this world that a two-penny duty on tea, unjustly imposed in a sequestered part of it, changes the condition of all its inhabitants.”

A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.” -W. C. Fields

A broad swath of psychological and economic research has shown that people will pay different amounts for the same item depending on who is providing it.”

How selfish soever man may be supposed,” Smith wrote, “there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.”

Information is a beacon, a cudgel, an olive branch, a deterrent – all depending on who wields it and how. Information is so powerful that the assumption of information, even if the information does not actually exist, can have a sobering effect.”

If you were to assume that many experts use their information to your detriment, you’d be right. Experts depend on the fact that you don’t have the information they do.”

The fear created by commercial experts may not quite rival the fear created by terrorists, but the principle is the same.”

“Five terms correlated to a higher sale price: Granite, State-of-the-Art, Corian, Maple, Gourmet.”

Five terms correlated to a lower sale price: Fantastic, Spacious, !, Charming, Great Neighborhood”

The gulf between the information we publicly proclaim and the information we know to be true is often vast.”

The first trick of asking questions is to determine if your question is a good one. Just because a question has never been asked does not make it good. If you can question something that people really care about and find an answer that may surprise them – that is, if you can overturn the conventional wisdom – then you may have some luck.”

A little creative lying can draw attention, indignation, and perhaps most important, the money and political capital to address the actual problem.”

The secret to finding the right data usually means finding the right person – which is more easily said than done.”

A crack gang works pretty much like the standard capitalist enterprise: you have to be near the top of the pyramid to make big wage.”

“If crack dealing is the most dangerous job in America, and if the salary was only $3.30 an hour, why on earth would anyone take such a job? Well, for the same reason that a pretty Wisconsin farm girl moves to Hollywood. For the same reason that a high-school quarterback wakes up at 5 a.m. to lift weights. They all want to succeed in an extremely competitive field in which, if you reach the top, you are paid a fortune (to say nothing of the attendant glory and power).

Emotion is the enemy of rational argument.”

Risks that you control are much less a source of outrage than risks that are out of your control.”

If morality represents an ideal world, then economics represents the actual world.”

In Levitt’s view, economics is a science with excellent tools for gaining answers but a serious shortage of interesting questions.”

Levitt reduces the theory to a tiny syllogism: Unwantedness leads to high crime; abortion leads to less unwantedness; abortion leads to less crime.”

Economists typically separate our daily activities into three categories: market work (which produces income), home production (unpaid chores) and pure leisure.”

There are a million books that explain the principles of economics, and they are widely read, usually at universities. But those books explain what economics is; they don’t really explain how to look at the world like an economist.”

Books being what they are – not just stories and information, but stories and information that people like to talk about with other people – there is obviously an extra incentive to read what everyone else is reading.”

Thank you for reading! Here’s the freakonomics website for more information.

Website: http://www.freakonomics.com

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A Series of Unfortunate Events Book 10 Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket Quotes 

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Quotes from A Series of Unfortunate Events The Slippery Slope  by Lemony Snicket Book 10

Book Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events Book 10: The Slippery Slope

Author: Lemony Snicket

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• When we met, you were pretty, and I was lonely. Now, I am pretty lonely.

•I’m sure you know, if you are ever forced to do something very difficult, it often helps to think of something inspiring to keep you going.

•That night was a dark day. Of course, all nights are dark days, because night is simply a badly lit version of day, due to the fact that the Earth travels around the sun reminding everyone that it is time to get out of bed and start the day with a cup of coffee or a secret message folded up into a paper airplane that can sail out the barred window or a ranger station. But in this case, the phrase ‘a dark day’ means ‘a sad time in the history of the Baudelaire children, V.F.D., and all kind, brave and well-read people in the world.’ “At this point, I will take a page from someone’s book, a phrase which here means ‘adopt an idea used by someone else.’ If, for instance, someone told you that the best way to write thank you notes is to reward yourself with a cookie everytime you finished one, you might take a page from his book, and have a plate of cookies nearby after your birthday or some other gift-giving occasion.

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  • When you have many questions in yout mind, and you suddenly have an opportunity to ask them, the questions tend to crowd together and trip over one another, much like passengers on a crowded train when it reaches a popular destination.
    • In my experience, well-read people are less likely to be evil.
    • Fate is like a strange, unpopupar restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.

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    • Taking one’s chances is like taking a bath, because sometimes you end up feeling comfortable and warm, and sometimes there is something terrible lurking around that you cannot see until it is too late and you can do nothing else but scream and cling to a plastic duck.
    • Wishing, like sipping a glass of punch, or pulling aside a bearskin rug in order to access a hidden trapdoor in the floor, is merely a quiet way to spend one’s time before the candles are extinguished on one’s birthday cake.
    • “Translo,” she said, which meant “Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean that it’s nonsense.
    • “This isn’t a very complicated recipe, Sunny,” her mother said, “but if I arrange the salad very nicely on fancy plates, people will think I’ve been cooking all day. Often, when cooking, the presentation of the food can be as importand as the food itself.”

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    Mini Book Haul

    • She rolled up her sleeves – an expression which here means “focused very hard on the task at hand, but did not actually roll up her sleeves, because it was very cold on the highest peak of the Mortmain Mountains.
    • … joking that lifting a large novel was the only exercise she liked to get during the hot months.
    • “The central theme of Anna Karenina,” he said, “is that a rural life of moral simplicity, despite its monotony, is the preferable personal narrative to a daring life of impulsive passion, which only leads to tragedy.”
    • A daring life of impulsive passion is an expression which refers to people who follow what is in their hearts, and like people who prefer to follow their head, or follow the advice of other people, or follow a mysterious man in a dark blue raincoat, people who lead a daring life of impulsive passion end up doing all sorts of things. For instance, if you ever find yourself reading a book entitled The Bible, you would find the story of Adam and Eve, whose daring life of impulsive passion led to them putting on clothing for the first time in their lives, in order to leave the snake-infested garden where they had been living.


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    Fields of Study Japanese Vocabulary

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    This week’s set of Japanese vocabularies are fields of study.

    You will notice that the kanji 学 (gaku) is in every field of study. 学 means “study of”

    1. 医学 (igaku) Medical Science

    2. 薬学 (yaku gaku) Pharmacology

    3. 化学 (kagaku) Chemistry

    4. 生化学 (sei kagaku) Biochemistry

    5. 生物学 (seibutsu gaku) Biology

    6. 地学 (chi gaku) Earth Sciences

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    7. 地質学 (chishitsu gaku) Geology

    8. 鉱物学 (koubutsu gaku) Mineralogy

    9. 岩石学 (ganseki gaku) Petrology

    10. 地球物理学 (chikyuu butsuri gaku) Geophysics

    11. 地球科学 (chikyuu kagaku) Geochemistry

    12. 地震学 (jishin gaku) Seismology

    Learn Japanese With These Study Materials

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    Dork Diaries Pop Star by Renée Russell Favorite Lines

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    Synopsis:

    Nikki Maxwell’s school is holding a talent competition and Nikki can’t wait to start practicing dance moves with her BFFs, Chloe and Zoey, and impressing Brandon, her crush, with her singing skills!

    But then Nikki finds out that her arch-nemesis, Mackenzie, is entering the contest too, and she’s determined to hog the limelight. Can a dork like Nikki take on the most popular girl in school and win?

    Book Title: Dork Diaries Pop Star

    Author: Rachel Renée Russell

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    • I bit my lip and blushed profusely as he stared at me with that look on his face. The one thing that can send me into a severe and debilitating case of RCS (Roller-Coaster Syndrome) in mere seconds.
    • She has the IQ of a plastic houseplant.
    • You must be delusional or something. Or maybe your hair clips are so tight, they’re cutting off the oxygen to your brain.
    • I’m just really tired of pretending everything is fine when it isn’t!
    • But I just said that inside my head, so no one else heard it but me.

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    • Now I’m starting to wonder if Brandon actually likes me as MORE than just a friend!! And if he DOES, I’ll seriously just DROP DEAD from severe shock and extreme happiness!
    • By the end of our practice session, we had a very cool, original song about not fitting in at school and being who you really are. I have to admit, it isn’t about super serious stuff like lost love or saving the world. But it is OUR song, and it expresses how we feel. That’s the most important thing.

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