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SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

40 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

Fun, like the first

Levitt and Dubner's new book provides insight and thought that basically leaps from where Freakonomics stopped. I love that they take the "truths" that the world hold as self evident and test them. From the radio interviews I have heard it is obvious that some people be...
Levitt and Dubner's new book provides insight and thought that basically leaps from where Freakonomics stopped. I love that they take the "truths" that the world hold as self evident and test them. From the radio interviews I have heard it is obvious that some people believe that some things shouldn't be considered. I was floored when their analysis showed that walking drunk was significantly more dangerous than driving drunk. They, of course, are not recommending that we drive drunk (are you stupid, or what?) but that we be more mindful of our decisions. If you can have fun with the intellectual exploration, even if you don't always agree with their conclusions, you'll love this book. Another one I enjoyed recently that I strongly recommend if you're interested in personal development is "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"

posted by Patrick_Newman on October 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

14 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

Too many obvious mistakes and too much second-hand material

While people have commented at length (negatively) on the global cooling chapter, no one has pointed out the obvious mistakes in the drunk-walking chapter. Namely, there is "adverse selection" in that drunk-walkers are usually more drunk than drunk drivers. How do you...
While people have commented at length (negatively) on the global cooling chapter, no one has pointed out the obvious mistakes in the drunk-walking chapter. Namely, there is "adverse selection" in that drunk-walkers are usually more drunk than drunk drivers. How do you know this? Who has ever said: "I am too drunk to walk. I think I'll drive" ? Given the obvious error there that a layperson like me can spot (and I also think there is a per-hour and per-mile mistake), and the well-documented errors (including refutation by the sources quoted at length) in the global-cooling chapter, I would both recommend against buying this book and recommend that the authors remove it from the shelves and try again, so as not to destroy the wonderful brand image they created with the first.

I would recommend reading the review in the Guardian to learn how such a bad sequel is almost inevitable after such a promising first effort (Blair Witch Project, anyone?). had I read that, I wouldn't have bought the book.

Howeever, in the lemons-into-lemonade department, I am a teacher and might make unauthorized copies (I feel like I got ripped off buying the book, so all's fair) of both those chapters and give them to my students to hone their critical-thinking skills and get them to comment on why the analysis might be wrong, and how to challenge it, rather than to automatically accept like so many of my students do, that it is in a book by experts with data, so it must be right.

posted by CriticalThinkerMD on October 24, 2009

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I TELL U SOME OF THE STORIES HERE

    SOME OF THE STORIES HERE CAN BE SO COMICAL THAT THEY MAKE U THINK TWICE ... THEY SURE DID 4 ME

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    The typical 'I had a success and now I need to follow up' Book

    There isn't much in this second book that wasn't covered in the first book. Just another opportunity to bring in additional dollars on top of the monetary success of the original.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    Worth Reading

    This book is easy to read and appears to be factual. The book also is not political.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2009

    Freakonomists score with Supersequelomics

    Steve D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner specialize in counterintutive observations and analysis of things we all usually for granted, challenging accepted wisdom and convention in entertaining, provocative and often disturbing ways. It isn't necessary to take all of their conclusions as seriously as they appear to do. It's the thought process that is important. We would do well to apply some of their techniques to some of our assumptions and prejudices. See this book on www.thebookweb.com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2014

    I like how Levitt and Dubner give their professional opinion on

    I like how Levitt and Dubner give their professional opinion on problems that we have to face today in modern society and how the economy has either gained or suffered from it. They give you an inside look on the world of economy and how every decision can be either a hard or an easy decision, like they said it would probably be an  easy decision (if your drunlk) to walk home. But what they made me think was, is it really the easiiest and smartest decision you should make? also that they bring some statistics and how they make you think and second guess yourseldf and in a way think about the domino effect. But since I'm not really interested about the economy and all, certain things made me a little confused.

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  • Posted October 15, 2014

    This book was pretty interesting. I was fairly ebtertained thoru

    This book was pretty interesting. I was fairly ebtertained thorughout the book, which is one of the reasons that I read som much of it. Sometimes, there were times when they got off topic and started babbling on, but that's just me. Other than that, I found the book to be pretty educational. Of course there were somethings that I didn't understand, because i don't have a Ph.D in economics, but i still felt that i walked away with a good amount of new information. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2014

    I think that this book is quite interesting. Some of the topics

    I think that this book is quite interesting. Some of the topics that it touched on was new to me. I learned a lot and I caught myself rethinking certain things in a new perspective, which I like in a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    If you post here, you should probably learn to spell correctly.

    If you post here, you should probably learn to spell correctly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Superfreakanomics was a really interesting book. Subjects ranged

    Superfreakanomics was a really interesting book. Subjects ranged from things I thought I has nothing to do with economics. Both the authors did a good job. I highly recommend this book. It's not solely about numbers and other boring economic topics , it apples to real world situations.
    They were boring parts as well but overall I liked it


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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    i thought this book was interesting. It touched based with many

    i thought this book was interesting. It touched based with many different categories most people didn't know about. It was interesting that all topics in the book tied back into how it affected our economy and how we benefit from or don't. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a diverse insight about facts and statistics going on in the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2014

    Levitt and Dubner do a great job of taking economics out of the

    Levitt and Dubner do a great job of taking economics out of the text book study from the classroom!  Using economics to explore prostitution to solutions for global warming was interesting and left me wanting more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    Good continuation of Freakonomics franchise

    I found this book to be a good follow up of the first in the series. Witty and interesting, this book's topics range from ER visits to drunk driver statistics. I found the vast majority of the topics to be entertaining, even if I had no prior knowledge or interest in them. My one qualm was the placement of the endnotes, which were after the acknowledgements but before the index. This was slightly irritating given that there were also in-line citations and footnotes. All in all, a great read that I hope is followed up wih another book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    In this book, the authors use real life examples that normal peo

    In this book, the authors use real life examples that normal people encounter almost everyday, to
    explain economics. They explain why a suicide bomber should buy life insurance even though it is
    completely pointless for them to do so. The book also talks about global warming ad how eating
     meat contributes to warming the earth more than driving your car. The authors also discuss why the
    domestic violence in India is so high, and why it is safer to drive home drunk than trying to walk home
     drunk. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    Although a bit boring at times, Superfreakonomics was a very int

    Although a bit boring at times, Superfreakonomics was a very interesting read, and I would highly reccomend to anyone seeking to broaden their intellect. Through interesting statistics, and intriguing chapter names, the authors hooked me and i couldn't put this book down. I can now impress my family and friends with my newfound knowledge on such topics as street prostitutes, global warming, vaccines, and much more. Well worth my time to read.

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  • Posted October 14, 2013

    Before reading the book, I thought that this book was going to b

    Before reading the book, I thought that this book was going to be just a good title and nothing more, but turned out to be a page turner. Knowing very little about how economics work made me believe that I wouldn't be able to relate this book to anything I know, but the vivid stories and examples the author describes make you realize that economics touches us our daily lives. The author also uses psychology to make ties between economics and basic human behavior making it relatable to the reader. Overall the book was very enjoyable as well as informative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    This was a somewhat good book as it put economics in a more unde

    This was a somewhat good book as it put economics in a more understandable way. Most people wouldn't understand economics straight up but this helps very much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2013

    I loved this book! It lures you in by stating topics that you wa

    I loved this book! It lures you in by stating topics that you want to read, such as how terrorists should get life insurance. Being in an Economics class and studying the terms used in the book, can really help understand the subject, especially with the examples used in this book. It's definitely a book I'd read again... Not just for a school project!

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  • Posted April 7, 2013

    I found this book very interesting, and an easy read even though

    I found this book very interesting, and an easy read even though I didn't read Levitt and Dubner's first book Freakonomics.  
    The authors took a non traditional approach on economics that was refreshing.  
    They created a book that was fun and tough economics in a nonconventional way.
    This book connected many events in history with the past and present economics.  
    Overall a fun book with interesting ideas and examples.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Superfreakonomics is an amusing book. It's written as if the aut

    Superfreakonomics is an amusing book. It's written as if the author was having a conversation with the reader personally because every now and then you find a little joke in the chapter. It's an amusing book especially because it brings up question one normally wouldn't think of such as "How is a prostitute like a department-store santa?" It may get confusing at times because the subject changes pretty frequently. However, this book is worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    The book was informative. It showed how economics can be viewed

    The book was informative. It showed how economics can be viewed in all aspects of life like terrorism and not just the traditional collage and government view. Obviously the book is not perfect in terms of knowledge of every subject mentioned . How ever it is a good read if you want to understand some basic principles of economics like wants

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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