superfreakonomics by s levitt & s dubner

imgres Sigh. I honestly did not want to read this book but one of our clients insisted that we hold an entire workshop dedicated to discussing the topics in the book. Well, sigh.  I’m not sure what Levitt and Dubner had in mind when they wrote “SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance”.  (Just to clarify, reading the first book Freakonomics is not required to read its sequel.)  They mention in the book’s intro section that the purpose of these books is not to make any permanent claims per se, but to spark up a discussion.  For me, it failed to ignite an intellectual discussion rather it really made me wonder about the authors personalities.  It actually made me wonder what kinds of people they hang out with and how their close friends perceive them… what they eat… where they live…

Anyway, I get it.  They put an entertaining spin in analyzing global economics.  But the statements and implications made from their research findings become too over exaggerated, superfluous, and superficial.  There were times when I thought I was rereading a page because the topics go back and forth a lot.  Not coherent.  It’s like a bad comedy – the book is like the awkward silence between scenes when the actors try too hard to be funny and nobody laughs.

Some issues the book raises includes: how walking drunk is more dangerous than driving drunk;  how pimps and brokers are similar in the way that they are helping to sell a service to the larger market; and how economists do not take environmental issues into consideration.

I think the level of debate in SuperFreakonomics resides as a dinner-table conversation.  I’m not saying it’s terrible; some of you may actually like it because it’s sourly entertaining.  But if you’re looking for a book with more meat and substance, perhaps you should pass on this one.

dee’s recommendation: 2.5/5

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