Thursday, April 06, 2006

I'm re-reading Freakonomics. I read it when it first came out and enjoyed it so much that I thought I'd pick it up again less than a year later. There are so many engaging things to talk about, but this quote cracked me up last night as it speaks to something that I've been raging against a lot recently: Over the recent decades, a vast and diverse flock of parenting experts has arisen. Anyone who tries even casually to follow their advice may be stymied, for the coneventional wisdom on parenting seems to shift by the hour. Sometimes it is a case of one expert differing from another. At other times the most vocal experts suddenly agree en masse that the old wisdom was wrong and that the new wisdom is the answer. A baby should always be put to sleep on her back -- until it is decreed that she should only be put to sleep on her stomach. Eating liver is either a) toxic or b)imperitive for brain development. Spare the rod and spoil the child; spank the child and go to jail. "Experts" -- who needs 'em? And yet, without "experts" there would be no Today Show, no Fox News, no Newsweek, no book of the week, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

1 comment:

Dan Luebcke said...

Hey Chuck!

Thanks for the quote. I have been thinking a lot about parenting, for obvious reasons, and at times feel overwhelmed with the flock of opinions. I think this is a good example of the tipping point prinicple. So many failed marriages which have created so many messed up parents have created the tipping point for whoever to write a parenting book, claiming to be an expert, and making money off desperate people who need answers! Just a thought. I really need to read this book.