Permission to Ask the Sort of Questions You Asked as Children

From Freakonomics: The Movie (2010):

"Our incentives, unlike everyone else's, are to be honest. Because we built our whole reputation on, If we're honest about this issue and we're honest about this other issue then people will believe us when we're asked about everything. The worst thing we could do—the only way we can ruin our repuation—would be to start taking sides and fight...we're this peculiar beast which actually has the right incentives to just seek the truth and not have an agenda. "

~ Steven D. Levitt

"I don't think anything we've ever written or thought is gonna save any lives, really, or make people smarter or better in any way, but we kind of give people permission to challenge conventional wisdom sometimes and to ask a different kind of question entirely. A lot of times the questions are the sort of questions that you asked as children and people kind of chuckled at you, but once in a while they turn out to be really good. The problem is that as you get older and you ask them as adults—like if you're in a meeting or with your friends or whatever—and they laugh at you hard, and you just stop asking those questions entirely. We just kind of keep doing it. We say, What if this thing everybody thinks is so really isn't os? or What if that didn't cause this? What if this caused it? I think that there just needs to be a lot more permission for people to think like that." 

~ Stephen J. Dubner

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