Freakonomics Reader Questions

By JoCo November 22, 2007

Over at the Freakonomics blog they’ve posted my answers to reader-submitted questions. I think I wrote too much – who do I think I am, Robert Redford?


Shruti says

Haha, that was intense. Interesting interview, though; I love how open you are.

Anyway, most of the questions necessitated long responses. And you were clearly far more articulate than Redford, so that's good.

ouija repair says

I thought your answers were excellent. Entertaining, detailed, informative, and plain English. Plus, nice pic -- sort of says "digital age folkslinger."

James says

Great interview! Its amazing to me that people view success so narrowly. When will they realize that you are the only one that can declare yourself a success? Probably never....

Tom says

Were those the actual questions - or was it written after the answers?

ouija repair says

Tom -- One of the questions was mine, and I consider it actual, if that helps.

Zumzo says

JoCo said, "It’s always hard to figure out the actual numbers on this, but I definitely get the feeling that having a more open attitude with MP3s has contributed to my ability to actually make a living"
I'd have to agree - I downloaded the free tracks, listenede to them non stop for a week and then went back a bought the lot! Great stuff.

Roman V says

Awesome stuff. Question was, why weren't any of US told about this (because of course no one reads the Times)

The interview at also has some great answers [/cheap plug]

Jen says

Tom, the leadoff question came from me. "It's the truth -- it's actual. Everything is satisfactual." There's a link to all the reader questions in their original form at the top of the post.

(The Freakonomics blog did omit my query about the robot v. monkey Swedish meatball food fight at the Ikea. Go figure -- isn't that a burning question in the minds of all thinking Americans today?)

Krinkle says

All I want to know is if it was the real John Hodgman that posted that question. My first exposure to Jon Coulton was in Hodgeman's audiobook. It would be pretty nice to think you guys kept in touch.

andrine says

*skimming, skimming* (gawd, why does this remind me of Redford?)

missing you in Oregon...

Liza LS (Kodamakitty) says

Great Q & A and not too long at all. Maybe it's the sensitive-songwriter thing that helps, but I find the best part about you and your music is how articulate and witty you are. And if you're looking for another song to cover, "Man it's so loud in here" by TMBG would probably be an interesting candidate for the acoustic treatment. I instantly thought of it when you said that your iPod library didn't see too much rotation nowadays.

One question I wonder about is, do you actually read all of these comments?

@Jen - thanks, now "Zippadeedodah" will be stuck in my head all day....


Molly says

Seeing as how they asked you about 8 questions per "Q:", your answers weren't really that Redfordian in context.

NMcCoy says

"Sensurround" and "Spiraling Shape" are a couple of other TMBG songs that seem similar to JoCo's style. JoCo covering anything TMBG would be pretty cool, if perhaps slightly redundant. Personally, I want to see what sort of awesomeness results when JoCo and xkcd collide. Make it happen please?

Mystral721 says

I can easily picture JoCo playing the lead in the latest XKCD comic:

Lindsay says

I agree heartily with the JoCo-xkcd idea. I have no idea what sort of combination would work, but man, the brilliant geeky awesome would be about a million on a scale of one to ten. Also, @Mystral721, you're right. That comic is eerily appropriate...

A more differenter Lindsay says

i pointed JoCo towards following XKCD's comic at his last show in Boston, and I know for a fact that XKCD is familiar with JoCo's work, and it makes me giddy to imagine the possibilities of a collaboration between the two...

And JoCo, I love that you listed Billy Joel up at the top of your favorite artists in that article... he soft rocks too!

JP says

I like the part of the interview where you spelled out what success is to you. I think people tend to assume there is a standard definition.

I would love to see a Joco/ XKCD animated movie musical. Yeah, two great forces rolling together as an unstoppable entertainment juggernaut.

Yeaaah... :)

Martin Blasick says

So many artists hold onto their techniques as though letting the mystical secret of their success out of the bag will deflate their own carreer. It's refreshing that you share so freely. Success comes from the person. If everyone in the world knew about it doesn't mean their mp3's would sell more.

Doug Baker says

Any chance of you coming to anywhere in Colorado in my lifetime?