Monday, December 14, 2009
If you are like me and you love economics then you will love this book. Even if you don’t find the laws of supply and demand fascinating and you don’t go to bed reading The Wealth of Nations every night, you will still be captivated by the latest book by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. It is very rare that an author can make the subject of economics so palatable to so many but they have done it.
Super Freakonomics applies the beautiful laws of economics (have I mention I’m an economics teacher?) to every day things in the world around us and come up with remarkable theories that will make you question some of your most closely held beliefs.
For Levitt and Dubner, it’s all in the data. None of their theories are based in political, moral, or social bias. It is with this data that they come to such conclusions as driving drunk is safer than walking drunk (at least for the drunk person). Chicago police are more likely to sleep with a prostitute than arrest one. Car seats for toddlers are unnecessary. Larger farms are more eco-friendly than smaller farms. And that is just scratching the surface.
By far the portion of their book that has caused the most controversy is their chapter on global warming. It’s actually referred to as “global cooling” which should give you an idea of the controversy. The do not make the claim that global warming doesn’t exist or is not a problem. What they claim is that there is very little we can do about it with the current approaches being taken. Some of the ideas proposed are creating artificial clouds over the Pacific and artificially cooling the Caribbean during hurricane season. In a sense the only way we can stop what we have done to Mother Nature is by continuing to tamper with her.
If you are interested in a fast, fun, and very educating book, I give my highest recommendation for Super Freakonomics.
Links to more information about Super Freakonomics:
Labels: Super Freakonomics