Thursday, February 25, 2010

Super Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

I should've known I wouldn't really like this book after I read the first line on the cover written all in caps:

Blah, blahblahblah, b-blah.

At least in this one I wasn't forced to read as a header to every chapter how ridiculously full of himself and his multiple accomplishments Steven Levitt is, Mr. "I was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to the most influential economist in the history of the universe under the ripe old age of forty". And I'm personally over forty by the way, and that-is-not-young-by-any-standard. Hell, if you're a man you're already past middle age by that time. Practically on death's door for crying out loud. Get over yourself already man.

Their desire for the almighty dollar and their own ideas on politics came shining through throughout most of the book. I thought I'd be reading an unbiased account of the "facts". Apparently they didn't even check those. Isn't that what economists are supposed to do? Get to the very bottom of an issue. To the truth? After all, do numbers and statistics lie? I guess I was expecting more than bathroom reading material from this one.

Double ew-ew!

I did learn something though, economists are like emergency room doctors - they think they know everything about everything. I bet people are just lining up to talk to them at parties.

Or running in the other direction.

After reading this, it's not hard for me to guess which I'd do. But you decide for yourself. I'm just a regular old American who will continue to recycle and use her carseats regardless of what their "facts" say.

But then again, I haven't won any awards other than The Most Mischievous at girls camp.
2 stars


Anonymous said...

But get a load of that subtitle: "Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance" - What a selling point!

Anonymous said...

Although I have no clue what that means.

Tanja said...

I am impressed that you would even give this book a try. It is not up my ally that is for sure. My husband read Freakonomics and I just can't get behind it. A question for you, did the book say you should not use car seats? What does that have to do with anything?

Lula O said...

StephanieD - Trust me. Don't worry about it. They've done that stupid hooker thing to death. And enough with terrorists already! Duh~!

Tanja - Exactly! They found one tiny study that found putting a toddler in a regular car seat belt and putting a child in a booster with a belt held little difference in child survival rates in car accidents. Injury rates however are higher, a fact they touch on very lightly.

And they are obviously so against the idea of global warming and offer up the most cockamamie ideas for fixing that tiny problem.

Don't waste your time.

hmsgofita said...

Wow. I've heard such great things about both books. I've got the first one sitting on my shelf. Looks like it can sit a bit longer. Great review.