This book has been on my list for a while, many people recommended it and I see why. The authors are an interesting match - and economist and a writer. Asking weird questions, getting even weirder answers.

The book makes several compelling points for reevaluating how we view our lives. It is written with the idea that incentives shape many aspects of modern lives and I can’t argue with this premise. I have seen too many people “gaming the system” when the incentives are set badly. Typical example might be to reward programmers based on number of lines of code they produce. That specific example was not part of the book but it might as well have been.

Among other things - conventional wisdom is often wrong. We should not always accept it blindly but look at incentives of people who peddle these wisdoms. Experts touting this or that often have vested interest in you believing whatever they are selling. Internet has made experts much less needed in many cases because it largely eliminates information asymmetry. It makes it much harder for experts to play on fears when the other side has access to the right information and can interpret it correctly.

Book makes a case that knowing what to measure and how can make a complicated world seem much less so. That said - information can be a beacon, a cudgel, olive branch or a deterrent. All based on who wields it and how.

It is a fun short read which for me boils down to one recommendation - question what incentives people have for doing or saying things. It will give you insights into their behaviors.