Landsburg sets out to challenge reader’s views on many “common senses” through economical cost-benefit analysis. Many of topics touch hot-buttons of social, environment and economic issues, and the solution are often counterintuitive. Some of the ideas seem crazy, but the reader should keep in mind that the purpose of the book is not to offer real-world resolutions. If that’s the case, many ideas are indeed either naïve or absurd. The book should be considered as an exercise of brain or training of logics. Once you accept that, you will find the reasonings are mind-bending and thought-provoking.
The subtitle of the book reads, “Why Simple Things Become Complex (and How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple)”. It sounds appealing. Indeed, many things become overly complicated just because they are not handled properly. If the book could shed some light on how to avoid it, it would be very useful. To my disappointment, I end up not finishing the book after reading about one third. What the author does is just applying some trivial mathematics results to explain social science phenomenons. Others have done that. IMHO, it is a common mistake that non-science background writers often make.