Freaking the Tipping Point

I recently finished reading Blink, The Tipping Point and Freakonomics. I would highly recommend any/all of these books. One curious tension that comes from having read these recently is that the ‘Broken Window’ policing strategy that is extolled in The Tipping Point is rigorously discounted as having no effect on crime in Freakonomics. Curious. How did Malcolm Gladwell get this so wrong?

The other theme that hit me was how several of the topics covered in Blink and The Tipping Point start to sound like what gets discounted (and in some cases disproven) as ‘conventional wisdom’ in by Levitt in Freakonomics. Makes me curious that if Levitt were to write a book examining each of the assertions in Gladwell’s works, how many of them would stand up to the economists vetting? No matter the outcome, the result would be an interesting read.

One topic that I would love to see Levitt cover is this: does the increased level of violence in movies and video games desensitise people to violence or does it desensitise people to violence in movies and video games?

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