Friday, September 02, 2005

Celebrity Death Match: Malcolm Gladwell vs Steven Levitt

I would like to propose a Celebrity Death Match. I would like Malcolm Gladwell to square off against Steven Levitt. Gladwell has written The Tipping Point and Blink. Levitt is the author of Freakonomics.

Why do I want these two intellectuals to face off in the squared circle? Well, it's because both are very popular authors right now with non-fiction books that have sparked quite a bit of interest and in one instance they disagree with each other.

See, in The Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell writes about how the big crime wave of the 80's in New York City was turned around by new police tactics focusing on smaller crime which managed to start eliminating larger crime. Like not paying the fares of the subway and letting the subway cars be vandalized. Gladwell explains it better. Read the book, it's good.

But Levitt disagrees and his big theory is that it is abortion that helped reverse the crime wave of the young criminals because when abortion was legalized it was the young, poor women who were more likely to get an abortion and it was those children who came from broken homes and a poor economic future that were more likely to become the criminals of today. Levitt even talks about NYC and how the same reversal of the crime trends were happening in other cities which did not use the new tactics and that the reversal was no greater in New York than it was in other cities.

Well, who is right?

In my view we are going to have to go back to the olden days where to men would fight out a point of contention and the winner is clearly in the right and favored by God.

Seems fair, doesn't it?

Oh, go read the books.

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