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Freakonomics - chapter 6

marinaseilerzwPerson was signed in when posted
04:59 AM ET (US)
It would be nice if we can talk about this some more
12:43 PM ET (US)
Good suggestion from Debbie and Gary for virtual TWJ coffee and conversation via Zoom. I have found that participating in Forum and meditation via Zoom have been soulful. As Debbie suggested, it might work best to discuss a topic or quote. We could also talk about an article. For me, being with each other and sharing our concerns is such an important part of TWJ. Doing that virtually gives us a way to be better connected. We do know that several of our folks are not able to participate though. I’d suggest that we all try to reach out especially to them.
10:48 AM ET (US)
It is interesting to think about how parents decide on names and also how important a name can be for the child’s future. They do ,after all have plenty of time to think about it. Family name? Trendy name? Creative name?
We used family names for Laura and (Lynn) Whitman. The name Whitman had been passed on, mistakenly, as William for a couple of generations in the Brown family as a middle name. “Whitman” was rediscovered in a family Bible record.

How important is a name for the future of the child? Citing Winner vs Loser, it’s certainly not the the main determiner of success , but does ,I think factor in. By the way, how bizarre is it to give a child a name “Loser” and how cool is it that he rose way above that name?
Change topics:
Have you heard or read Brian’s sermon from last week, “A Longer Lent”? It was so meaningful. Thank you Brian!
Last paragraph: “I don’t know how long our Lent will last this year. But I do know this. It will, one day, be over. And when it is, we will feast together. We will celebrate as those who believe that God is always bringing new life out of that which is dead. Amen. “
10:45 AM ET (US)
Good morning! I hope you’re all well and comfortably sheltered. I do miss your faces. My observation re: Chapter 6 runs parallel to all of yours. To answer Brenda, naming our children was, like most things in our marriage, a challenging compromise. Jennielee was named after my ex’s Mom and Daniel after my first cousin/best friend. To insert a bit of humor, when Jennielee and her husband were expecting their first baby, they bought a Best Baby
Name book and the title was Names Beyond Jennifer and Jason (her husband’s name is Jason). They named their kids Lorien Sage and Rowyn Bree (my daughter was a Writing/Lit major and very much into Tolkien at the time).
She now manages a small law firm. I told her about this chapter and she said what she finds to be fascinating is that it’s the parents in their court cases with extensive criminal records seem to be the ones most likely to name their sons with their name (1st, middle and last) for generations. She said it’s common to do a records search and have 4 generations with the same name with criminal records.
 Euripides famously said: “Question everything.” That seems to me to be the main takeaway from the book overall.
I have to admit, I get weary of questioning everything. I tire of running everything through Snopes or calling my son to get his take of each political development. I long for the days of Walter Cronkite and Edward R Morrow (whom I don’t actually remember but it have read about) when the news was, we thought at least, just the news and a handshake sealed the deal.
On a final note, will we continue to gather virtually on Thursday mornings? I like Gary’s suggestion re: Zoom but know that may not work for everyone. It was good to see each other during Adult Study on Sunday.
Since we hadn’t had a chance to pick out our next book, would there be interest in keeping in touch over virtual coffee and a topic/quote/prompt of some sort?
01:46 PM ET (US)
I'm kind of like Bryan in that the listing of names and their popularity over the years I found tedious. I also know that black folk tend to name their children after people (as Jean noted: Denzel Washington named after Dr. Denzel) they admire but also for future hopes/desires that the child will do well.

BTW, "Am-unique" is one that states clearly to me what the parent is aiming for in naming his/her daughter.
03:39 PM ET (US)
To finish below expectation & for whites a bit of pride.
03:37 PM ET (US)
I agree with you, Brenda. My kids were all named with family & close friends in mind & that was in the 50s. In thinking about the racism of names. I was in Memphis at U T college of Health Sciences in late 40s & early 50s. Our clinical practice was at the 85% black city hospital—the only hospital in mid-south to admit blacks. Their names were most often what I recognized as typical black names & since we had medical students who delivered babies all over Memphis their stories about naming was interesting. They often reported a baby was named after them—all white men since we had no blacks in med school & only 2 women by the way. I always thought the name was related to gratitude for the medical care but maybe it was also hope for the child’s future. As for why parents choose certain names these days I wonder if for blacks it is both a bit of defiance as well as Hope/expect ion
05:09 PM ET (US)
The interesting tidbit I got out of the chapter was that the distinction between the races in choosing names didn't start until the 1970's which was when our children were born. It made me think back to when we were choosing names for our girls. I don't think we ever had a moment of consideration about whether their name would affect their future except that we didn't want to give them a name or initials that would embarrass them. We started with family names that we wanted to use for middle names and then looked for names that worked well with those names. We discounted to begin with names of family members and close friends and ones that brought back negative memories for us. From there it was just a matter of finding a name we both liked. That made me question why we liked certain names and not others and I think it is probably just the same reasons why we all like different colors, drive different cars, live in different style houses and furnishings, and dress differently. I'm not sure how all that is explained. I would be interested in how you chose the names of your children and what you think about the authors' statement at the end that parents use a name to signal their own expectations of how successful their children will be. Oh and since my name was called out in the chapter, I don't mind one bit if it was considered a low-end name. After all my father was a factory worker and my mother a stay at home mom so they probably qualified as low-end, but they raised us well and sent us all to college. As was pointed out though, things were different back then.
Brian WyattPerson was signed in when posted
03:22 PM ET (US)
Chapter 6 may have been the least interesting one to me in the book, maybe because so much of it was just lists of names. I also felt a little like the authors kind of went back and forth on how aspirational names were. They seemed to suggest that at the end of the chapter, but at the beginning offered the anecdote of the two children named Loser and Winner and how neither name fit. I think the most interesting points made in the chapter were (1) that motivation plays a large role in how people turn out (in the section about people changing their names as an indicator of their motivation) and (2) that names often reflect socioeconomic status. What did you find interesting or noteworthy in this chapter?

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