听了好久的Freakomomics Radio podcast之后终于有契机看这本书，非常受益。印象最深刻的是要提防所谓conventional wisdom，形成观点结论需要经过自己大脑的、运用经济学原理（humans respond to incentives）的缜密分析。最近听到的一期podcast，讲穷人富人哪个更加有利他精神，粗看起来穷人更愿意施舍给更需要接济的人，但有多少成分是他们更加需要跑团取暖、所以潜意识里是出于广播善因、以后在自己陷入困境的时候更容易获得善果才行善的呢？实际实验结果显示富人更大比例地归还“不义之财”，但细究起来只是因为时间点不同——发薪日的穷人一样愿意归还不属于自己的财富；但当钱包越加消瘦时被困境所迫，几十刀的飞来横财就成了雪中送炭。那么究竟孰优孰劣呢？或者其实是另一个角度——几十刀对于富人来说根本不足以产生诱惑，而对于穷人则是相当可观，其实双方都不约而同在自己的实际vs道德的天平上做出评判？
These theories made their way, seemingly without friction, from the experts’ mouths to journalists’ ears to the public’s mind.
迟到Daycare罚款的例子：It substituted an economic incentive (the $3 penalty) for a moral incentive (the guilt that parents were supposed to feel when they came late).
刚买新车就卖的例子：He assumes that the seller has some information about the car that he, the buyer, does not have—and the seller is punished for this assumed information.
Information is the currency of the Internet. ... the Internet acts like a gigantic horseshoe magnet waved over an endless sea of haystacks, plucking the needle out of each one.
Realtor卖房广告里的用词：“Fantastic,” meanwhile, is a dangerously ambiguous adjective, as is “charming.” Both these words seem to be real-estate agent code for a house that doesn’t have many specific attributes worth describing.
The gulf between the information we publicly proclaim and the information we know to be true is often vast. (Or, put a more familiar way: we say one thing and do another.)
It was John Kenneth Galbraith, the hyperliterate economic sage, who coined the phrase “conventional wisdom.” He did not consider it a compliment. “We associate truth with convenience,” he wrote, “with what most closely accords with self-interest and personal well-being or promises best to avoid awkward effort or unwelcome dislocation of life. We also find highly acceptable what contributes most to self-esteem.” ... So the conventional wisdom in Galbraith’s view must be simple, convenient, comfortable, and comforting—though not necessarily true.
扭曲事实为宣扬女权服务对吗？Women’s rights advocates, for instance, have hyped the incidence of sexual assault, claiming that one in three American women will in her lifetime be a victim of rape or attempted rape. (The actual figure is more like one in eight—but the advocates know it would take a callous person to publicly dispute their claims.) Advocates working for the cures of various tragic diseases regularly do the same. Why not? A little creative lying can draw attention, indignation, and—perhaps most important—the money and political capital to address the actual problem.
为什么学习Parenting没有用处：Here is the conundrum: by the time most people pick up a parenting book, it is far too late. Most of the things that matter were decided long ago—who you are, whom you married, what kind of life you lead.
经济学家认为投票作为单独行为无用，但作为群体行为却有了意义：voting exacts a cost—in time, effort, lost productivity—with no discernible payoff except perhaps some vague sense of having done your “civic duty.” As the economist Patricia Funk wrote in a recent paper, “A rational individual should abstain from voting.” ... the seemingly meaningless behavior of an individual, which, in aggregate, becomes quite meaningful.