Our Book-of-the-Month Club — which we’ve called Not Oprah’s Book-of-the-Month Club to emphasize that it has a distinct point of view — has had some pretty diverse selections. This year, selections have included The 4-Hour Work Week, Fifty Places to Golf Before You Die, and Confessions of an Economic Hitman. But in an ironic twist of fate, two of last year’s selections converged on Friday as a result of a new "scientific study".
Freakonomics became one of those books that you had to read because everyone you knew had read it. And no question it was a fascinating book, and an easy read as each new chapter sought to explain a completely different idea than previous one. Evidently, Dubner & Levitt — the writer & economist respectively — had been maintaining a blog at freakonomics.com for quite some time. I only discovered it after reading the New York Times on my iPhone and seeing that the Gray Lady had offered a permanent home to the blog at freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com.
So now I’ve added the Freakonomics blog to my daily media consumption, and sure enough, one of yesterday’s posts involved another Book-of-the-Month selection: The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. One of the core ideas of the book is that the guy (we’ll hold off from calling him a gentleman just yet) should insult his female target as a way of lowering her self-esteem so she will be more open to advances (the book calls it "negging"). Whether or not one agrees with that idea, it is about to get its 15 minutes of fame through a new VH1 show called the Pick Up Artist which stars one of the main subjects of the book.
Of all the books we’ve ever selected, The Game would be the least likely we would expect a now famous economist to address. While we’d love to delve into the "science" here, we’ll leave that to the freaks.You can find the post entitled The Science of Insulting Women at their new online home at nytimes.com.