Skip to main content

Book review: SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life InsuranceSuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This book takes a thought-provoking and often humorous look at the microeconomics of our human lives. It explores incentives and disincentives, correlation and causation. I can't clearly articulate why, but I liked this book better than the original Freakonomics.

The authors keep you guessing. Every time they propose a reasonable explanation for some behavior, you find yourself nodding in understanding. Then a page or 2 later, they reveal an entirely different, often contradictory explanation. You realize how complicated the study of human behavior and its causes really are.

I liked the section on altruism, and learning how people practice pure and impure altruism in their lives, using examples such as donating to charity or reporting crimes.

The section on global climate change was also good; after presenting a lot of statistical data and predictions of the potential effects on the planet, the authors describe several proposed solutions, many of which seem far-fetched at first, but are apparently based on sound science. In this section, the authors explained the positive and negative externalities of climate-related factors such as waste management, pollution, and transportation.

Like the first book, the authors are loyal to the hard facts of their studies, rather than giving into the hype and hysteria often associated with theories about human behavior. The book was interesting for the specific studies as well as the theory behind their conclusions.


View all my reviews

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The difference between burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas

I love Mexican food, but I'm embarrassed to admit that I always get confused between burritos, wet burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas. Here are the descriptions, with the differences in bold and pictures following each description.

burrito
A flour tortilla wrapped around a filling (meat, beans, vegetables, etc)


wet burrito
A burrito that's covered in red chili sauce and cheese. Because of the sauce covering, it looks like an enchilada, but it's made with a flour tortilla, whereas the enchilada is made with a corn tortilla.


chimichanga
A burrito that's deep-fried. Sometimes covered with cheese or another topping.


enchilada
A corn tortilla wrapped around a filling, covered with chili pepper sauce


Sources
Wikipedia: BurritoWikipedia: ChimichangaWikipedia: Enchilada

Edit scanned documents with Word 2007

Office 2007 includes support for converting scanned documents to editable text using OCR (optical character recognition). To get your text from a paper document to Word 2007:
In the Control Panel, open Add or Remove Programs.Find Microsoft Office, click it, and click Change.In the Office Installation Options window, expand Office Tools, click Microsoft Office Document Imaging, and select Run from My Computer from the dropdown.Click Continue or Next until you reach the end.You can now scan documents and convert the scanned images to editable text:
From the Start Menu, find Microsoft Office, then select Microsoft Office Tools, then click Microsoft Office Document Scanning.Choose your preset and options, then click Scan.The scanned image should open in Microsoft Office Document Imaging. To perform OCR and open the editable text in Word, click Tools, Send Text to Word.You can now edit and save the scanned document as a Word document.

Considering retiring this blog

I'm seriously considering retiring this blog. When I started it in 2008, it was a place for me to share thoughts and links on a variety of topics. For at least the last year, however, it's just been a place where I re-post book reviews from Goodreads.

You can see all my book reviews on my Goodreads profile, and subscribe to my Goodreads RSS feed to be notified of new reviews. I also intend to keep blogging about WordPress, web design, and web-related topics on my OptimWise blog, which also has an RSS feed.

Would you miss this blog if I discontinued it? Please leave a comment.