Why are so many blogs attached to mainstream newspapers so freakin' lame? Maybe because the blogs wouldn't have been written in the first place if some frazzled managing editor weren't demanding it because his boss told him to. Freakonomics, part of the New York Times' blog network, is a notable exception; it easily stands on its own by dint of insight and wit. The writers, Stephen Dubner and economics professor Steven Levitt, penned the best-selling book Freakonomics, and keep the contrarian ball rolling in their blog. The blog truly tackles "the hidden side of everything," from the negligible effects of good parenting on education and the surprisingly low earnings of crack cocaine dealers to why so many authors publish fake memoirs rather than presenting them as novels. It's a daily reminder that many popular notions about economics and consumer behavior are just plain wrong.
Sample Freakonomics Post: History shows that we Americans generally like to elect politicians who have a stable family life, or at the least the appearance of one: a spouse, perhaps a couple of children, etc. Among candidates running for national and statewide office, the spouse is a pretty standard prop at campaign stops. But is that model due for a change?