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5.0 out of 5 stars Freakonomics Part II
This book is essentially a continuation of the same general theme as the earlier one – Freakonomics. However, this one includes color illustrations near the center of the book; I found these to be quite interesting and useful in illustrating certain sections of the main text. This book occasionally makes reference to some material covered in Freakonomics, so a...
Published 10 days ago by G. Poirier

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first one.
On many spots, I couldn't help but feel the authors had rushed and not done as thorough of a research as the first book. Also it didn't flow as smoothly. Towards the end, I felt like it was becoming a waste of time and almost didn't finish the book.
Published 7 months ago by hotdoc007


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5.0 out of 5 stars Freakonomics Part II, Aug. 9 2014
By 
G. Poirier (Orleans, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Superfreakonomics (Paperback)
This book is essentially a continuation of the same general theme as the earlier one – Freakonomics. However, this one includes color illustrations near the center of the book; I found these to be quite interesting and useful in illustrating certain sections of the main text. This book occasionally makes reference to some material covered in Freakonomics, so a reader may wish to read these two books in the order in which they were published. The only down side for me in this particular book was reading the “Transcript from the First Freakonomics Radio Podcast”, which is a small fourteen-page section near the end of the book. Although this may have been great to listen to on the radio, reading through it, for me, was rather boring; it can easily be skipped (as I should have done) with no loss in the book’s useful/interesting content.

I believe that anyone who enjoyed Freakonomics will likely enjoy this book at least just as much. I certainly did.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun to Read, Oct. 27 2009
By 
Jethro Tull (Ottawa, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Superfreakonomics (Hardcover)
Much like Freakonomics, Superfreakonomics is an entertaining book that covers a wide variety of unrelated topics in a fun way. But in contrast with Freakonomics, it is less reliant on econometric analysis and more on anecdotal evidence. As a result, its conclusions should be taken with a grain of salt.

For example, their finding that it is safer to drive than walk while drunk depends on several assumptions that may not hold. One such assumption is that the level of inebriation is on average the same for both drunk walkers and drunk drivers whereas, as they point out themselves earlier in the section, most people believe it is safer to walk when drunk, indicating that those who walk while drunk are probably more inebriated than those who drive while drunk. But to put things in context, that was just a small example and is only a very minor part of the book.

Sadly, many critics and reviewers are basing their entire opinion of the book on the last chapter concerning global warming. Let me just point out that it is not true that they are claiming that global warming is not a problem. Yes, they do mention some old global cooling theories from the 70's. But put this in the context of this book - a random collection of fun facts - and you can see why such theories were mentioned.
But that misses the main point of the chapter. In fact, the purpose of the chapter is to find a way to cool the globe, but using geoengineering, as opposed to restricting emissions of Carbon Dioxide. They propose an idea sponsored by Intellectual Ventures, a company whose business is to accumulate patents in a wide range of fields. The plan basically entails the injection of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, which would reflect sunlight and possibly cool the Earth. The authors propose this as a much cheaper and possibly effective solution for global warming.
You can see why environmentalists may be annoyed by this book: it gives their political opponents some ammunition in a critical time when they are trying to pass environmental regulation. It is thus critical, for them, to destroy the credibility of the book and its authors. Perhaps this is an understandable position, but the attacks on this chapter of the book are highly unwarranted in any other context given that it is merely proposing new ideas, and there's nothing wrong with that. For all we know, more research could prove that such schemes are effective.

Buy this book if you enjoy reading a collection of fun, often counter-intuitive, random "facts" about controversial issues. I would give it 5 stars for entertainment value, but I only gave it 4 stars out of 5 because the high level of econometric analysis that could be found in Freakonomics is virtually non-existent here, making the sequel sloppy and less rigorous.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, July 1 2014
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This review is from: Superfreakonomics (Hardcover)
Loved this book and the underlying concepts; however I didn't enjoy it as much as the original
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, June 23 2014
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This review is from: Superfreakonomics (Paperback)
The authors go a long way beyond basic economics to analyse the way things work these days. They break down systems I to their small parts and analyse the relationships. Lots of food for thought. I am thoroughly enjoying this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fact and factoid heaven, March 8 2014
By 
Michael Petsalis (Kirkland, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: SuperFreakonomics (Kindle Edition)
You'll have to go through all the references and related research to determine if it's all true, but it sure makes for entertaining reading. Stop pollution? Nah, just spray a smidgen of sulphur in the higher atmosphere and it's all gone.

Read for sure, but then think and make your own judgments. For me, one day less per week of read meat won't hurt and I'll help curb cow farts.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first one., Jan. 15 2014
This review is from: Superfreakonomics (Paperback)
On many spots, I couldn't help but feel the authors had rushed and not done as thorough of a research as the first book. Also it didn't flow as smoothly. Towards the end, I felt like it was becoming a waste of time and almost didn't finish the book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A slight let down, but interesting, Nov. 19 2013
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This review is from: Superfreakonomics (Paperback)
LOVED Freakonomics and all its connections, so this one was a let down when the connections are weak and not formulated enough to truely compare to the first book. There are some great articles to read, but not as good as Freakonomics.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A bit disjointed, Sept. 4 2013
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This review is from: Superfreakonomics (Hardcover)
Some stuff is pretty good, but some is a bit lame. Jumps around a lot. Author says as much in the forward but you have to learn code.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it a lot, but wanted more, Aug. 30 2013
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I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but I wanted another chapter or two. it felt so brief. The autheors get into theory a bit more than the previous book, but still a good read.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Microeconomic Speculations Intended to Challenge and Amuse, Nov. 7 2009
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Superfreakonomics (Hardcover)
"But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?'" -- Acts 7:27

One of the earliest lessons of microeconomics has been credited to Pareto, based on his observation that 20 percent of the people have 80 percent of the wealth. Since then, we've learned that many other things are distributed in similarly lopsided fashion. If we focus on where there is little opportunity, we get little done. If we focus instead where there is great opportunity, the results may well be virtually unlimited. SuperFreakonomics, like Freakonomics before it, uses Pareto's perspective in a variety of areas where you probably don't normally think that unusual solutions at low cost might hold. The results can be enlightening and amusing, at the same time.

Here's a brief summary of the book:

Chapter 1: Economic inequality of women as exemplified by salary information with a lot of documentation of price elasticity and inelasticity in sex-worker employment.

Chapter 2: Using unusual patterns to locate terrorist intent on suicidal attacks. A shortened life expectation shifts behavior in ways that can be observed.

Chapter 3: People respond to incentives rather than to altruism. Measurements are challenged by newer measurements that take more factors into account.

Chapter 4: Seemingly possible inexpensive ways to solve difficult problems. Filled with more amusing speculation than substance.

Chapter 5: Curtailing carbon dioxide emissions won't cure global warming. The authors look at speculative ideas for changing the heat-trapping qualities of the atmosphere and oceans.

Epilogue: Monkeys can be trained to act like people with money.

If that mix of material seems a little random, the underlying theme is that microeconomic analysis can bring new insights, even where you wouldn't expect it to. Methinks the authors doth protest a little too much.

I could have done with a lot less information about prostitution. I don't really need to understand price elasticity in that area. This material felt a little like pandering to sell more books.

I enjoyed the terrorist chapter. If the book had been more like that, it would have been a lot more interesting.

The studies of motives seemed better suited to a book on social science research than to a popular book.

In the inexpensive solutions, I thought that the authors were reaching to be entertaining more than they were trying to inform.

In the global warming section, the points about carbon dioxide compared to water vapor and methane are accurate and well presented. But the authors went off the deep end in pursuing alternatives. These suggestions are more in the realm of speculation than proven alternatives.

Will the book harm you? Probably not.

Will the book give you a great big insight that will reward you for reading it? Maybe not.

Will the book give you lots to talk with other people? Sure.

I hope the authors will attempt to be more solution oriented in future books and less driven by a desire to be "entertaining."
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Superfreakonomics
Superfreakonomics by Stephen J. Dubner (Paperback - May 16 2011)
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