Superfreakonomics, Illustrated Edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance Hardcover – 25 Nov 2010
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Levitt is a master at drawing counter-intuitive conclusions . . . great fun . . . Superfreakonomics travels further than its predecessor (Tom Standage, Sunday Times)
There's material here not just for one conversation, but for several (Daily Mail)
A humdinger of a book: page-turning, politically incorrect and ever-so-slightly intoxicating, like a large swig of tequila (The Times)
Levitt and Dubner's zeal for statistical anomalies is as undimmed as their eye for a good story . . . lie back and let Levitt and Dubner's bouncy prose style carry you along from one peculiarity to the next (Sunday Telegraph)
Diagrams, charts and photos alongside the original text explain how things like the Endangered Species Act endangered species and why real people don't behave like people in labs. It's a very cool edition of a very smart book. (BBC Focus)
The new illustrated version of Superfreakonomics, the world's No 1 best-seller - written by economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner - uses the dull subject of economics to analyse unusual subjects with astonishing effect. (The Sun)
Journalist Stephen J Dubner and his co-author, the economist Steven D Levitt, have enraged everyone from climate-change activists to child-safety campaigners by applying rational economic thinking to emotive subjects. (Emily Dugan The Independent on Sunday)
From the Back Cover
Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation, selling more than four million copies.
Now Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with SuperFreakonomics, and fans and newcomers alike will find that this freakquel is even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first.
SuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again, with such questions as: How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa?What's the best way to catch a terrorist?What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common?Are people hardwired for altruism or selfishness?Can eating kangaroo save the planet?
Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else, whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Initially I was unimpressed; the first chapter, dealing with prostitution felt like a rehash of the first book, only less interesting. Soon after, things pick up. The sections on emergency medicine and altruism were interesting and ask questions about the way in which we perceive our world. It is these alternate world views that are the 'Freakonomics' books strongest assets. Time and again the authors hold up a hand and say 'but what about...?'
Not everybody will be happy. The authors offer some thoughts on climate change, that go against current thinking, for which they will undoubtedly be pilloried. Of course challenging convention is the point of this book, and I'm sure the authors will welcome the debate. Less happy though, will be road-safety experts. 'Superfreakonomics' reveals that for the drinker, drink-driving is safer than drink-walking. (They do say that a taxi home is much better option still, but considering their findings on altruism, this seems a foolhardy admission.) The section on child safety seats will also cause great consternation, not least amongst child safety seat manufacturers.
Whilst casting doubt on the efficacy of child car seats, the book does ask a singular and important question. Since the primary users of rear seats are children, why aren't they designed with children in mind?Read more ›
This one goes into a lot more detail on a single subject and as a result is not as wide-ranging, and does at times feel as if its trying to imply that the reader cannot draw their own conclusions from the initial information provided. The original Freakonomics book didnt go into as much details and left the reader able to draw their own conclusions from the outline facts rather than having everything spelled out for you.
I like the Freakonomic books but if you are new to these then the original is the better of the two in my view.
Should you read it - yes. Will you enjoy it - yes. Will you agree with everything - no.
Prostitution: The price of oral sex has fallen as it has become less taboo socially. Pimps value their prostitutes - which makes sense because I would expect a taxi driver to value his car because it is their means of making a living. And controversially prostitutes are more likely to have sex with a police officer than be arrested by one!
Global Warming: so controversial that people will down rate this book if it disagrees with their own accepted wisdom. The book contains hyperbole and overstatements that generates heated debate - (intended!) economic consequence of this is more press and more sales. But the authors do not deny global warming, rather they want to show how costly and difficult the current answers suggested by the big governments are, and they offer some potentially interesting solutions.
Read it in short bursts - it is not a Dan Brown novel!
Economic concepts: commodity good, price discrimination, inelastic demand, principal-agent problem. Plus a "how-to" guide on being a successful courtesan.
Chapter 2 is organised around the concepts of data mining. We learn about the financial transaction profiles of Islamic terrorists, the disutility of hospitals and the relative performance of doctors in dealing with different kinds of illness and injuries.
Economic concepts: data analysis.
Chapter 3 is about altruism. The core of this chapter deconstructs a 1964 murder in New York City which was apparently witnessed by many people, none of whom intervened or even reported it to the police. This leads to an appraisal of economics experiments which purportedly showed people to possess an intrinsic core of altruism (leading to Nobel prizes in economics for the researchers). Such an appealing conclusion is debunked as you might expect. The murder story is also debunked.
Economic concepts: limitations of behavioural economics.
Chapter 4 is about perverse incentives and specifically how powerful interest groups succeed in bringing about outcomes which disadvantage society overall. In the sights are doctors and auto makers. It is shown repeatedly that the hero who correctly points out that the emperor has no clothes is subsequently uniformly reviled by said interest groups
Chapter 5 is the part about global warming. Or is it cooling?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love freakonomics. I'm actually not going to run out of sea waters screaming 'shark' 'shark' everytime a little fish touches me. Buy the book and find out why.Published 2 months ago by MrChefon
If you love looking at things in different ways and challenging the norm this is the book for you! I have quite often trundled out excepts of this book at dinner parties and at... Read morePublished 3 months ago by DL
Extremely interesting. Undermines a lot of preconceptions and does it with data. Promotes a somewhat cynical attitude towards the establishment and big business, which is probably... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mr Keith W Richardson
I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK. I FOUND OUT SO MUCH ABOUT WORLD AFFAIRS AND HOW TO LOOK AT THINGS FROM MANY DIFFERENT ANGLES. Read morePublished 11 months ago by griffiths