Freakonomics was a very interesting book. John Allen Paulos did it first, though, and possibly better, in his Innumeracy series. Freakonomics makes the error of trying to make their work sound more exciting than it is. “Rogue economist”? It’s like when the Wall Street Journal was claiming that, after the Enron scandals, accountancy was dangerous and sexy.
Hmm. “Rogue economist, played by George Clooney, tangles with accountant Brad Pitt in this high-action thriller.” Maybe not.
But Paulos hasn’t brought a new book out lately, and it was time for an up-to-date mathematical news analysis. The Ancestor’s Tale also requires a lot of math of its reader. However, it has handy charts to refer to. I have reached the point at which the gibbons split off from the apes.
Did you see the Rolling Stones on yesterday’s halftime show? Mick Jagger was prancing around convincingly, looking better-preserved than Aretha Franklin or Stevie Wonder, except in close-up. He didn’t sound as good, but I think at that age you probably have to choose between prancing and singing.
I have also just this second realized that I forgot and missed #2 son’s dental appointment last week. They will probably still charge us for it, but of course the insurance will not pay that charge. And I will have to call and apologize and attempt to reschedule, though this dentist is harder to get in to than a hairdresser. Not the best way to begin the week.
Later: The dentist’s office was very nice about it. Just a reminder that most of the things we worry about never actually happen. Or possibly they are scared of me. My iron self-control whenever I am in their office, combined with my pretending not to be there, have made them fear that I am some sort of dangerous madwoman, Little do they realize that my dysfunction is happiness. Oh, and that pesky little bit of agoraphobia. Anyway, they were nice.