Steven D. Levitt Ò 9 ReadCollect pathogens and are Non Censure rarely laundered Instead doctors should wear bow tiesNITRATE FERTILIZERSThese are astonishingly cheap and effective They feed our world If we lost them we would only have fruit and animal products on special occasions or they would only be eaten by theichWHALE OIL AND OIL UNDERGROUNDIn the 19th century whales were the economic engine that helped turn the USA into a powerhouse Every inch of whales could be used Most valuable was whale oil a lubricant for all sorts of machinery but also for lamps In the 19th century there were 900 whaling ships 735 of them were in the USA1835 1872 An average of 7700 whales a year were killed It was the fifth largest industry in the USThen the industry was exhausted through over whaling and it begun to fail That is when a Herrin der Schmuggler retiredailway man called Edwin L Drake using a steam engine to power a drill through 70 feel of shale and bedrock struck oil in Titusville PennsylvaniaThe new oil industry provided work for unemployed whalers and it saved whales from near certain extinctionCHANGING PEOPLE S BEHAVIOUR IS HARD WORKSEAT BELTSFor instance the introduction of seat belts in cars These were initially thought of by Robert McNamara who worked for The Ford Motor CompanyCongress began setting federal safety standards in the mid 1960s but even 15 years later seat belt usage was laughably low just 11%Over time the numbers crept up thanks to a variety of nudges1 The threat of a traffic ticket2 Expensive public awareness campaigns3 Annoying beeps and dashboard lights if the belt wasn t buckled4 And eventually a societal acceptance that wearing a seat belt wasn t an insult to anyone s driving abilitySeat belt usage in 1985 21%Seat belt usage in 1990 61%Seat belt usage in 2009 Over 80%In fact seat belts Hope and Glory reduce theisk of death in traffic accident by as much as 70% and at about 25 each are one of the most cost effective life saving devices ever inventedCOWS SHEEP AND METHANERuminants cud chewing animals are wicked polluters They do this via exhalation flatulence belching and their manureMethane is 25 times potent as a green house gas than carbon dioxide eleased by cars or humans The world s uminants are esponsible for about 50% greenhouse gas than the entire transport sectorPossible solutions Shift away from eating ed meat to eating chicken fish eggs or a vegetable based diet This does to Der Flügel des Engels : Autobiogr., Selbstzeugnisse, Briefe an Jack Kerouac reduce greenhouse gases than eating locallyesourced food Eat kangaroo meat they produce much less methane In fact Australian scientists are trying to eplicate the digestive bacteria in kangaroos stomachs so it can be transplanted to cowsGLOBAL WARMING HEROESAl Gore is usually held up as a marvellous campaigner for global warming issues but the authors of this book think a lot of his ideas are wrong Instead they promote Nathan Myhrvold and his Budyko s Blanket A plan to put sulfer dioxide into the stratosphere which they believe could everse global warminghttpgreenmanblogcomp251GLOBAL WARMING AT THE POLESGlobal warming is largely a polar phenomenon High latitude areas are 4 times sensitive to climate change than the euator hide spoiler TABLE OF CONTENTS close to verbatimIntro In which the global financial meltdown is entirely ignored in favor of engaging topicsthe perils of walking drunkthe unlikely savior of Indian womendrowning in horse manurewhat is freakonomicstoothless sharks bloodthirsty elephantsthings you always thought you knew but didn tChapter 1 In which we explain the various costs of being a womanLaShanna part time prostituteOne million dead witchesThe many ways in which females are punished for being born femaleEven Radcliffe women pay the priceTitle IX creates jobs for women men take them1 of every 50 women a prostituteThe booming sex trade in old time ChicagoA survey like no otherThe erosion of prostitute payWhy did oral sex get so cheapPimps vs Realtors pimpact vs impactwhy cops love prostituteswhere did all the schoolteachers gowhat eally accounts for the male female wage gapdo men love money the way women love kidscan a sex change boost your salarymeet Allie the happy prostitute why aren t there women like herChapter 2 In which we discuss compelling aspects of birth death though primarily deaththe worst month to have a babythe natal Love and Its Place in Nature: A Philosophical Interpretation of Freudian Psychoanalysis roulette affects horses toowhy Albert Aab will outshine Albert Zyzmorthe birthdate bulgewhere does talent come fromsome families produce baseball players others produce terroristswhy terrorism is so cheap easythe trickle down effects of Sept 11the man who fixes hospitalswhy the newest ERs are already obsoletehow can you tell a good doctor from a bad onebitten by a client at workwhy you want your ER doc to be a womana variety of ways to postpone deathwhy is chemotherapy so widely used when it soarely workswe Special Agent Francesca re still getting our butts kicked by cancerwar not as dangerous as you thinkhow to catch a terroristChapter 3 In which people areevealed to be less good than previously thought but also less badwhy did 38 people watch Kitty Genovese be murderedwith neighbors like thesewhat caused the 1960s crime explosionhow the ACLU encourages crimeLeave it to Beaver not as innocent as you thinkthe oots of altruism pure impurewho visits etirement homesnatural disasters and slow news dayseconomists make like Galileo hit the labthe brilliant simplicity of the Dictator gamepeople are so generousthank goodness for donorcyclesthe great Iranian kidney experimentfrom driving a truck to the ivory tower John Listeconomistwhy don t Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie real people behave like people in the labthe dirtyotten truth about altruismscarecrows work on people tooKitty Genovese Mein wildes Geheimnis 03 revisitedChapter 4 In which big seemingly intractable problems are solved in surprising waysthe dangers of childbirthIgnatz Semmelweis to theescuehow the Endangered Species Act endangered speciescreative ways to keep from paying for your trashforceps hoardingthe famine that wasn t300000 dead Act endangered speciescreative ways to keep from paying for your trashforceps hoardingthe famine that wasn t300000 dead mysteries of poliowhat eally prevented your heart attackthe
*killer carthe strange *carthe strange of Robert McNamara seatbelts at Fordlet s drop some skulls down the stairwellhurray for seatbeltswhat s wrong with iding shotgunhow much good do car seats docrash test dummies tell no lieswhy hurricanes kill and what can be done about itChapter 5 In which we take a cool hard look at global warminglet s melt the ice capwhat s worse car exhaust or cow fartsif you love the earth eat kangarooit all comes down to negative externalitiesTheClub vs LoJackMt Pinatubo teaches a lessonthe obscenely smart somewhat twisted gentlemen of Intellectual VenturesAssassinating mosuitoesSir I am every kind of scientistan inconvenient truthinesswhat climate models missis carbon dioxide the wrong villainbig ass volcanoes and climate changehow the cool the earththe garden hose to the skyreasons to hate geoengineeringjumping the epugnance barriersoggy mirrors and the puffy cloud solution over waterwhy behavior change is so harddirty hands and deadly doctorsforeskins are fallingEpilogue Monkeys are people toomicroeconomics experiment teaching monkeys to use moneyprice shocks income shocksgambling loss aversioncrime paysprostitutionfear of damage to monkey social structure ends experiments Those enegade cold blooded micro economists are back for fun filled worldly observations and scathing attacks on the status uo This time around the pair explore the economics of the worlds oldest profession and the myths and ealities of global warming Makes me want to consider the incentives of most every occurrence and transaction Levitt is on to something pretty cool here. SCan eating kangaroo save the planetWhich adds value a pimp or a RealtorLevitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically By examining how people espond to incentives they show the world for what it eally is – good bad ugly and in the final analysis super freakyFreakonomics has been imitated many times over – but only now with SuperFreakonomics has it met its mat. Journalists working in tandem The The Geology And Landscape Of Santa Barbara County, California, And Its Offshore Islands result here is so goodFor me there was noeal overarching theme Biopower: Foucault and Beyond rather the book was a series ofollicking anecdotes about the unexpected and contrary It makes a great follow on to the authors first book just called Freakonomics I Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds reckon both book are amongst the most entertaining I have everead and I can t ecommend them highly enoughI shall end with my usual medley of notes about some of the things that particularly caught my attention Warningthese notes are a eal hotch potch view spoiler TELEVISION AND THE UALITY OF LIFE FOR WOMEN IN INDIAMany initiatives have been instigated to improve the lives of women in India where they are often treated badly both as children and adults None of these projects have been very successful Then American economists Emily Oster and Robert Jensen compared villages with cable television to those without television They examined data from a government survey of 2700 households most of them uralIn households with televisionWife beating was less toleratedParents were less likely to admit to having a preference for male childrenWomen were likely to exercise personal autonomyThe families had a lower birthrate associated with autonomy and fewer health isksThey were likely to keep their daughters in schoolMACROECONOMICS Economists predictions are generally worthless They have a hard enough time explaining the past much less predicting the future They are still arguing over whether Franklin Roosevelt s policy moves uelled The Great Depression or exacerbated itIt seems part of the human condition to believe in our own predictive abilities and just as well to uickly forget how badly our predictions turned out to beSPORTY WOMEN ARE SUCCESSFULBetsey Stevenson discovered that girls who play high school sports are likely to attend college and land a solid job especially in some of the high skill fields traditionally dominated by menSELLING HOUSES BY YOURSELF ON THE INTERNET V SELLING VIA A REALTOR ESTATE AGENTWith the latter you pay a commission of about 20000 on a 400000 house and esearch shows that there are very few benefits If you do it yourself you must do it on the internet on a website specialising in selling houses Paying to do that costs just 150but you have to do all the work yourself Houses sold directly on the internet take an average of an extra 20 days to sellA third way is flat fee eal estate agents and they are even MORE expensive than ealtorsBABY FORMULA MILKThe introduction of this allowed thousands of women to get ight back into workFEMALE TEACHERS100 years ago this was one of the few non menial jobs available to women At the time6% of all working women were teachers and by a large margin it was the choice of female college graduates 55% of all college educated female workers in their early thirties were employed as teachersSoon afterwards opportunities for smart women began to multiply and they could enter law medicine business and financeand there was a brain drain from teaching and standards droppedWOMEN EXECUTIVES Research has shown that gender discrimination plays only a minor ole in holding women back Women take far fewer finance courses and all being eual there is a strong correlation between a finance background and career earningsWomen also work fewer hours than men A study of people completing their MBAs showed that women in the study worked 52 hours a week whilst the men worked 58 hours a week The big issues seems to be that women love childrenWomen with no children work 3% less hours than menWomen with children work 24% less hours than menWomen also take career interruptions than men After 10 years in the workforce10% of men with MBAs went for 6 months or without working40% of women with MBAs went for 6 months or without workingHIGH STATUS CONFERS LONGEVITYEven amongst those nominated for the Nobel Prize Winners live longer than those who have just been nominated but don t winPeople voted into The Baseball Hall of Fame outlive those were were narrowly omitted CANCERChemotherapy helps with leukemia lymphoma Hodgkin s disease and testicular cancerbut in most cases it is pretty ineffective There is a long list of cancers where chemotherapy has zero effectmultiple myeloma soft tissue sarcoma melanoma of the skin list of cancers where chemotherapy has zero effectmultiple myeloma soft tissue sarcoma melanoma of the skin cancers of the pancreas uterus prostate bladder kidney breast and lung Some oncologists argue that with these types of cancer chemotherapy helps one out of ten peopleSo why is chemotherapy used so muchOncologists are amongst the highest paid doctorsThey typically derive than half their income from selling and administering chemotherapy drugsIf they give a lung cancer patient an extra 2 months to live when he only expected to live 4 months on paper this will look an impressive feat The doctor extended the patient s emaining life by 50% There has been little difference in how many people die of cancer in the last 50 years The age adjusted mortality Lifting rate for cancer is essentially unchanged over the past half centuryBUTOver the same period age adjusted mortality for cardiovascular disease has plummeted From nearly 600 per 100000 to beneath 300THEREFOREMany people who in previous generations died from heart disease are now living to die of cancer instead So the statistics are better than they initially lookCancer deathates are falling amongst younger peoplePeople 20 or younger mortality has fallen by over 50%People 20 40 Mortality has fallen by 20%This is an especially good Mathruhridayam result as incidents of cancers in this age group have beenising Probably due to diet behaviours and environmental factors HEART DISEASEDeaths from heart disease have fallen substantially over the past few decades Expensive treatments like grafts angioplasties and stents have only had a very small impactThe decline has come ather from the success of medications which treat high cholesterol and high blood pressure This accounts for half the dropMuch of the emaining decline has come from idiculously cheap treatments like asperin heparin ACE inhibitors and beta blockersHORSE TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS IN NEW YORK IN 1900 VERSUS CAR TRAFFIC *ACCIDENTS IN NEW YORK IN 20071900 Horse accidents claimed the lives of 1 out of every 17000 esidents2007 Car accidents *IN NEW YORK IN 20071900 Horse accidents claimed the lives of 1 out of every 17000 esidents2007 Car accidents the lives of 1 out of every 30000 esidents People were nearly twice as like to die in 1900 from a horse accident than from a car accident todayTHE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEUENCES IS OFTEN SEEN WHEN GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION IS PASSEDeg governments who have tried to The House That Had Enough reduce trash by charging people for extra bags of trash1 Some people just stuff their existing bags and full a tactic now known by trash officers around the world as Seattle Stomp2 Others just dump their trash in the woods3 In Germany trash tax avoiders flused so much uneaten food down the toilets that the sewers became infested withats4 A new garbage tax in Ireland generated a spike in backyard trash burning St James s Hospital in Dublin ecorded a near tripling of patients who had set themselves on fire while burning trashFORCEPSThese can save lives if a baby is stuck in the birth canalThey are thought to have been invented early in the 17th century by an obstetrician called Peter Chamerlen They worked so well that Chamberlen kept them a secret sharing them only with sons and grandsons who continued in the family businessIt wasn t until the mid 18th century that they passed into general usage The surgeon Atul Gawande says that millions of babies lives were lost as a esult of this hoardingDIRTY TIESDoctors should be forbidden to wear ordinary ties as these. Apy prescribed so often if it's so ineffective Can a sex change boost your salarySuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again exploring the hidden side of everything with such uestions asHow is a street prostitute like a department store SantaWhy are doctors so bad at washing their handsHow much good do car seats doWhat's the best way to catch a terroristDid TV cause a ise in crimeWhat do hurricanes heart attacks and highway deaths have in commonAre people hard wired for altruism or selfishnes.
Incredible fast entertaining Das kurze Leben der Sophie Scholl read Thinkers like this one occasionallemind me just why I have chosen my professionShort Synopsis says it allPutting the Freak in Economics In which the global financial meltdown is entirely ignored in favor of engaging topicsThe perils of walking drunkThe unlikely savior of Indian womenDrowning in horse manureWhat is freakonomi I liked this book than I expected I would like it and liked it than their previous effort but have given it less stars this time than the last one The Défendre Jacob reason for this is that their last book introduced me to the whole field of behavioural economics and one is always fond of books that introduce entire new fieldsI had someeal problems with some of the contents of this book or ather not the contents so much as the underlying philosophy There is a lack of consistency of thought behind this one that is uite startling Look I m than happy to go with the whole Walt Whitman thing about being large a Microeconomics Ever since I ead the first Freakonomics book years ago I became a super freak and LOVED the Black Gold in North Dakota real world expose on things we always seem to take for grantedIncentives work Period They work to control our behavior than anything else Prostitution was huge years ago because it paid very well compared to any other kind of work that a woman could do Often ten times the goingate of anything Cops turned a blind eye because they could partake of the services Those other eally moral people who tried to stop it found they couldn t because they didn t understand the full circumstances So what educed prostitution Higher wages for women in general Choice It was never a matter of morality It was a matter of going where the money isIf we compare a geophysical engineering event such as setting off a volcano to combat global warming it would cost a lot LESS than Al Gore s whole PR campaign that tried to browbeat everyone into altruism And it would be effectiveThe threat of terrorism is often much effective than actual terrorism So put away your bomb and just do some talking about it Microeconomics uses Nestle Toll House Recipe Collection real data is only as effective as the uestions being posed but is still extremely interesting And enlighteningCar seats for kids No statistical difference in saving kids lives versus seat belts The seat belts are theeal saviors So instead of having this huge weird industry with mismatching standards for car seats why don t we have cars with easily adjustable seatbeltsHELLOThe numbers don t lie But human psychology is FULL of blind spots Like doctors and washing hands To find out that one hospital s doctors only washed their hands 9% of the time they OUGHT to have been washing their hands proven by swabs and analysis of their hands versus their self eporting of 60% or so Or the other many excuses such as time and effort No incentive fixed that situation better than putting screensavers up on all the computers that showed a magnification of a single caught doctor s hand What kind of truly effective incentives do we need to oll out now with the Coronavirus Will washing hands truly make the grade Maybe we should all get a picture of the virus for our screensavers But will that take care of all the people who don t WANT to take it seriously Those people who will prolong the problem for everyone else by spreading it to their friends and neighbors and to their own family members all of whom might be trying very carefully to uarantine themselvesMaybe we need a shame bell The same shame bell that was so yeah in Game of Thrones All the chapters in this book start with How is and then two subjects are compared or contrasted so in this spirit I ask How is a follow up book like a Shepherd s PieBecause shepherd s pie is made with the bits of meat discarded or not finished at a previous meal And so it is with this book Chapters not good enough to make it into the superb Freakonomics A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything have been Wicked City: The Other Side recycled into this book It s ok but like anything that isn t first choice it s not got that wow factor amaze me tell me all these things about the world I d never even thought of More uh huheally yeah interesting to know3 stars Ugh pop culture trash masuerading as economics in turn masuerading as hard scienceThere were so many glaring flaws in the authors assumptions logic and conclusions that within just the introduction they had already lost all credibilityRight up front the authors declare they had already lost all credibilityRight up front the authors declare
*fears about global *about global are overblown because the issue will likely be solved by technological innovation and then offer as proof the fact that cars eliminated the problems caused by horse based transportation So you know don t worry everyone we Officer, Surgeon…Gentleman! re sure to have a solution to global warming with even larger negative externalities any day now That s not even taking into account subtle problems with the we always innovate our way out of problems argument like survivorship bias or the assumption that human ingenuity is unbounded or the assumption that we llecognize pending catastrophes in time to act or the assumption that global changes will be politically acceptable on a global level or the complete disregard for loss of life while waiting for the technological solution etcI uickly concluded that this book wasn t worth the effort to finish Does anyone actually believe this crapThe first chapter about the economics of prostitutionin this one was way better than the entire Freakonomics As a Barefoot through Mauretania result I had faith that the authors would stick to their field As it turns out they get andidiculous as the book progresses finishing off with a pair of shitshows I m still trying to figure out if the global cooling chapter and the monkey chapters are jokes What bothered me most about the global cooling chapter wasn t so much the views the authors develop but that they were trying to influence people on something they seem to know little about While earlier in the book they explain how economics has expanded to social economics aka sociology political science and psychology they never Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School really explain why economists suddenly can become scientists Why didn t they stick to the economics of global climate change That would have been just as interesting and their field Instead they take Mostly of the same as Freakonomics withiffs on Malcolm Gladwell s books thrown in The glaring difference is the chapter on climate change which attempts to go waaay beyond the author s expertise in behavioral economics and contains unfortunate misrepresentations of climate science For a detailed critiue I d ecommend Still there s no denying that convincing the public to ecognize the need to curb CO2 emissions is an almost impossible task Also there s a laughable line about how Congress undid the epeal of the estate tax for 2010 Apparently the authors had a deadline to meet and tried to predict that the Senate would behave ationally All in all I m starting to think that behavioral economics is better at explaining after the fact than predicting Reading this book was an enormous pleasure It was like sitting down with a superb aconteur and hearing story after story of amazing and extraordinary events Oh no you exclaim surely that one can t be true But yes it is And so you leap on hungrily to the next peculiar storyThis is a treasure chest of information for anyone interested in psychology economics or just sheer human cussedness The people behind the book work brilliantly together economics lecturer Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen Dubner Please can we have academics and. The New York Times best selling Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation selling over four million copies in thirty five languages and changing the way we look at the world Now Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner eturn with SuperFreakonomics and fans and newcomers alike will find that the freakuel is even bolder funnier and surprising than the firstFour years in the making SuperFreakonomics asks not only the tough uestions but the unexpected ones What's dangerous driving drunk or walking drunk Why is chemother.
Steven D. Levitt