- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 24, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060889586
- ISBN-13: 978-0060889586
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,013 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance Paperback – May 24, 2011
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From the Back Cover
The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation. Now, 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? Who adds more value: a pimp or a Realtor? What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common? Did TV cause a rise in crime? Can eating kangaroo meat save the planet?
Whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically, Levitt and Dubner show the world for what it really is—good, bad, ugly, and, in the final analysis, superfreaky.
About the Author
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 forty. He is also a founder of The Greatest Good, which applies Freakonomics-style thinking to business and philanthropy.
Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning journalist and radio and TV personality, has worked for the New York Times and published three non-Freakonomics books. He is the host of Freakonomics Radio and Tell Me Something I Don't Know.
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While reading I just keep thinking to myself, a lot of these conclusions were based on the law of large numbers, so a lot of more likely/less likely in there(if you know what I mean). I mean even if the percentage of occurrence of one thing is 1% higher than the other, you can say that's more likely to happen. But I personally think sometimes that's not anything worth concluding.
The author of the black swan will probably oppose a lot of the conclusions made in this book since they don't count outliers..
But, there are several problems with his book:
The writing style/prose editing suggest readers with a short attention span, every time I get started on a topic it switches to another topic (the chapters have several subtopics and points seamlessly intermixed). The author's self-awareness of their success from the 1st book is painfully aware in this one, the sequel. For those in the sciences it is well known that a thesis is only as good as the data collected; and much of the authors data is from small sample sizes they go on the claim as irrefutable law (most contentious is the abortion and the crime rate correlation from the 1st book), which makes their hypothesis always...questionable; and for those critical of the Freakonimics series is their main argument against them.
In the end the book does what they probably intend, makes economics a philosophy relevant for the masses again. This book presents people with material for conversation and debate after dinner with friends and family. No longer something for government committees and corporations board of directors, economics is back to its practical roots. Bit these books are just that, not necessarily critical study but contrary based investigation of some interesting and important questions, insisting that dialogue and further inquiry of the selected subject matters occur.
The authors go about explaining why a simple, intuitive or knee-jerk understanding of the whys and hows of our world is often mistaken and why. And they do it with a sense of humor, providing amusing and interesting real-life & historical examples (although nothing, in my opinion, will ever quite live up to the drug dealers of the last volume!).
All in all, this qualifies as a sort of non-fiction "beach read." Econ-lite.
So why 3 stars?
I read this on Kindle, and somehow one of the charts was missing (another chart from another section of the book appeared in its place), so if shoddy e-editing drives you nuts. . . maybe avoid the Kindle edition.