Buckminster Skeeter: Wanna buy a watch?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

There's always another answer

I've about finished the book Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner . It's a very entertaining and enlightening read. I won't bore you with a dazzling description as you can get a better one at amazon.com or the likes.

Here's one of my favorite parts.

A young sociologist was tasked by his professors to go into the projects and do a survey. Some sort of black, low income study. The professor had designed a 10 question, multiple choice poll.

The first question was this:

How do you feel about being black and poor?
A) Very bad
B) Bad
C) Neither Bad nor good
D) Good
E) Very good

The young sociologist ventured into an abandoned building populated by gang members. After spending 24 hours talking with many of them he decided he had to alter the answer choices. It now went like this:

How do you feel about being black and poor?
A) Very bad
B) Bad
C) Neither bad not good
D) Good
E) Very Good
F) "Fuck You!"

I don't know why I find this so funny. Well, I guess I do actually. The book is filled with blogable topics - many of them considerably "deep" and deserving of discussion.


Blogger mugwump said...

Hey - that *is* funny. Dr. Metal, do you mind if I steal your way to put emphasis on words? Thanks, Mr. Skeeter, for using the "B" word (black), because it opens the door for me to tell Dr. Metal something. Don't forget; he doesn't know me. I did use the "G" word on your blog, but I'm probably the least prejudiced person I know. I have a gay cousin that I'm close with. He and I are sort of the "black sheep" of our large family. He's gay, and I married a black man, so at times we've both been ostracized. Southern Baptists aren't real open to those kinds of things. Nor are the United Methodists of the family. Anyway, just felt compelled to to explain that I have nothing against homosexuals. I've had several gay friends in the past, one female friend that actually came on to me. I politely declined her offer, just as I would any male that I found unappealing.

3:43 AM  
Blogger Dr. Metal said...

I read Freakonomics right after Christmas. I really liked it, too. I loved seeing how someone very clever can use statistics and economic theory to show cool stuff. My two favorite parts:

(1) the explanation for the decline of crime in NY. this is especially good if you've also read Gladwell's Tipping Point, who gives a completely different sort of explanation.
(2) the significance of names, which I think is in the last chapter. it's classic.

I didn't mean to be accusing you being "prejudiced"; I only said that someone might take to offense to it. If you were offended, sorry.

And Bucky: were you offended when I called you a nitwit?

I didn't think so.

4:17 AM  
Blogger Buckminster Skeeter said...

The 'decline in crime' part was fantastic - I'd love to see someone fire that one off during a political campaign. Could you imagine the shock factor!?

And yes, I am highly offended that you, Dr. Metal, called me a 'nitwit'. I prefer 'halfwit' or 'dimwit'. 'Nitwit' is just too edgy for me.

4:45 AM  
Blogger mugwump said...

Nah, I wasn't offended, I just take pride in not being prejudiced and wouldn't ever want to be misunderstood. I think I married a black man to kind of say "F" you to the world. Sometimes I leave my wedding ring at home just so I can laugh under my breath at the looks old ladies give me when I take all 3 of my biracial children out with me. It's very entertaining.

5:54 AM  
Blogger mugwump said...

Oh, and Mr. Skeeter, sorry if you are offended by my using your blog to address unrelated topics. Furthermore, Dr. Metal, sorry if you were offended by thoughts of my being offended by your consideration of those who may be offended by my potentially offensive comment.

6:10 AM  
Blogger mugwump said...

Another thing, Mr. Skeeter, I have really enjoyed the changes in your profile. Just letting you know someone notices. I have always thought my brother was the funniest person I know, but you are kicking his ass lately and making your way into securing the funniest person I know title. I was once keenly aware of your tongue too. Thanks for the memories. (Sorry the devil made me say that.)

6:55 AM  
Blogger mugwump said...

I have a question for discussion on my blog.

11:16 AM  

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