Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Books - Christmas break reading

While travelling I came across two very different books. On one of the airports I came through I came across Superfreakonimics by Levitt and Dubner [1] I had also read their earlier book (Freakonomics) as well as The Undercover Economist from Tim Harford - so I got this one. It is funny to read and I enjoyed most of it. The Geo-Engineering statements in the book received quite some critism on the net. So don't by it for its discussion on climate ;-). Reading the books it seems one gets a good explanation of certain things in the world (and economics) - not sure if this is really true, but it is great fun to read nevertheless. I particular like the argument why emancipation leads to a lower quality of teaching in schools :-)

A very different book (also with regard to the price; its more on a library budget than a casual airport buy), but not less interesting, is "Awareness systems" by Panos Markopolous, Boris de Royter and Wendy Mackay [2]. So far I have had only a quick look at the book but this could be the basis for a seminar in a term to come.

[1] Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner. Superfreakonomics. 2009. ISBN 978-0-7139-9991-4

[2] Markopoulos, Panos; De Ruyter, Boris; Mackay, Wendy (Eds.). Awareness Systems. Advances in Theory, Methodology and Design. 2009, ISBN: 978-1-84882-476-8

PS: I came across another book that takes an extreme - but still to some extent interesting - perspective on the German society. The book is called "Die verblödete Republik" (the republic that went gaga). In some parts I was reminded of the movie "wag the dog" - but the book is much more serious about it - providing a lot of references...

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