- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial (May 24 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1554686091
- ISBN-13: 978-1554686094
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 272 g
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Superfreakonomics Paperback – May 24 2011
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From the Back Cover
The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation, selling more than four million copies in thirty-five languages and changing the way we look at the world.
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with Superfreakonomics, and fans and newcomers alike will find that the freakquel is even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first.
SuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again, exploring the hidden side of everything with such questions as:
- How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa?
- What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common?
- Can eating kangaroo save the planet?
Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else. By examining how people respond to incentives, they show the world for what it really is—good, bad, ugly, and, in the final analysis, super freaky. Freakonomics has been imitated many times over—but only now, with SuperFreakonomics, has it met its match.--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
STEVEN LEVITT, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, was awarded the John Bates Clark medal, given to the most influential American economist under forty. He is also a founder of The Greatest Good, which applies Freakonomics-style thinking to business and philanthropy.
STEPHEN J. DUBNER is an award-winning author, journalist and radio and TV personality. He quit his first career--as an almost rock star--to become a writer. He has since taught English at Columbia, worked for The New York Times and published three non-Freakonomics books.
STEVEN D. LEVITT, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, was awarded the John Bates Clark medal, given to the most influential American economist under the age of forty. He is also a founder of The Greatest Good, which applies Freakonomics-style thinking to business and philanthropy.
STEPHEN J. DUBNER is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He quit his first career as an almost-rock-star to become a writer. He has worked for The New York Times and published three non-Freakonomics books. He lives with his family in New York City.
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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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