New from Michael Hobbes: If Books Could Kill

If Books Could Kill — Overcast

If Books Could Kill — Overcast

A few weeks ago, Michael Hobbes, one of the original cohosts of arguably the best podcast of all time, You're Wrong About, asked on Twitter what super popular paperback books of the last 10-20 years did people find the most damaging to society. A lot of people said Freakonomics and Malcolm Gladwell "Turns out…" books. A bunch of people said Ayn Rand or Dianetics.

Personally, I said The Secret because it kind of woo-woo pilled a distant family member and ruined their marriage because just one person in the marriage believed so heavily in the idea that your thoughts could influence what happened in your life.

I'm almost done with the first episode, which is Freakonomics, and it's pretty great. I remember reading the book at the time and having a pretty good background in statistics and feeling like one chapter would be at odds with another, and how they made giant leaps and just tried to go for unconventional conclusions even when the data showed otherwise.

I am looking forward to their inevitable review of The Bell Curve, which I remember as one of the most popular books of the 1990s and though I've never read it, any time I've seen excerpts, it's clear the whole book was about pushing anti-black racism and scary race genetics ideas from 100 years ago.

footnote: I couldn't find it on Overcast this morning since it just launched, but if you put the full Apple Podcasts RSS feed into Overcast, it'll find it on your phone.