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Super Freakonomics: Global Cooling,…

Super Freakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide… (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Steven D. Levitt

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3,370971,611 (3.71)68
Title:Super Freakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
Authors:Steven D. Levitt
Info:William Morrow (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library, Owned, ebooks, Audiobook, Willem's books, Read but unowned, Natalia Read in 2012 (inactive)

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SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt (2009)


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These guys will be superstars at SAS.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |

So I enjoyed the first book "Freakonomics" well enough, I suppose. And I really liked Levitt and Dubner's "Freakonomics" podcast -- that's very well done. But this. There's nothing to this. It's a series of essays kind of smashed awkwardly together. Some relate to the kind of behavioral economics that I guess they're trying to promote, but really it's just a collection of kind of "you never woulda guessed it!" sort of stories. With some attempts at edgy things like looking at the economics of prostitution in a very obvious sort of way. And the ultimate points made (hey -- sometimes seemingly hard challenges are solved simply!) aren't really that deep. I just found it hard to give a shit about these topics that are mostly only touched upon before the authors move onto the next freakonom-o-riffic thing.

What I *really* disliked, though, was the last quarter of the book, which mostly focused on Nathan Myhrvold and his patent company Intellectual Ventures. Myrhvold and the crew at IV are smart and accomplished, no doubt, but this 40-page chunk just felt like a fucking puff-piece for the technologies in their patent portfolio that aim to solve global warming. Maybe IV are right, maybe not -- but "Superfreakonomics" gives an incredibly one-sided presentation of their ideas. IV is a for-profit company. They want to sell their ideas and technology. To make a large chunk of a bestseller like this little more than softball marketing -- it struck me as both lazy and cynical. Lazy, mostly. If there are serious issues with IV's ideas in the scientific community, how about giving those ideas a bit more representation than a few crabby one-line quotes from Al Gore?

Anyway. Don't buy this. There's some okay stuff in it, but you'll get just as good with Levitt and Dubner's free "Freakonomics" material online. Check out the podcast. They clearly care about that. Clearly they didn't give a shit about this book, or else these two very capable writers and thinkers would've done something much more interesting and significant with it. ( )
  chasing | Jan 18, 2016 |
These guys will be superstars at SAS.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
The beginning fo the book was interesting but then at the end it strays into ways the authors think global warming could be fixed and it really ahs nothing to do with economics. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
Ok. This book is by no means perfect. More so than in the original Freakonomics, the arguments Levitt and Dubner make do have some clear holes in them, and this book doesn't really seem very well-organized--Levitt and Dubner go on some SERIOUS tangents on multiple occasions. That being said, though, Super Freakonomics was still VERY enjoyable: its subject matter was more fascinating than Freakonomics' was (who doesn't want to read about capuchin monkeys who use money or sulfur-belching garden hoses that could prevent global warming?), and the very way that Levitt and Dubner write is still so engrossing. All in all, I guess, this book does in some ways feel like the "Freakonomics for Dummies" book that Levitt and Dubner so didn't want to write (as per their introduction to this one) in that it feels really, really contrived at points, but it is worth reading just because it's so satisfying. ( )
  forsanolim | Jan 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Levitt and co-author Stephen Dubner's new book "Super Freakonomics" is a follow-up to their super smash 2005 bestseller, "Freakonomics." Thank goodness they are back -- with wisdom, wit and, most of all, powerful economic insight.
If ever two writers were likely to suffer from "difficult second book" syndrome, it's Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of the smash-hit Freakonomics, which made them the rock stars of the economics world.
The economist and the journalist again attack the concept of the rational man, via studies involving monkeys, banking records, and doctors. Yet there’s an artfulness missing this time around in their circuitous paths toward obvious conclusions like “technology isn’t always better” and “men and women are different.”
The difficulty with the book is that while the focus may be fairly fuzzy to begin with, it gets a lot fuzzier as it goes on. There’s a long passage about how people behave differently when they’re being scrutinised – thus making a nonsense of most behavioural experiments – and an even longer one about global warming.

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Dubner, Stephen J.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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Many of life's decisions are hard.
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Whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically, Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling to show how people respond to incentives.

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2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141030704, 1846143039

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