Ann's Reviews > SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt
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's review
Jan 19, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: essays
Read in January, 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS (close to verbatim):

Intro--In which the global financial meltdown is entirely ignored in favor of more engaging topics:
the perils of walking drunk
the unlikely savior of Indian women
drowning in horse manure
what is freakonomics
toothless sharks & bloodthirsty elephants
things you always thought you knew but didn't

Chapter 1--In which we explain the various costs of being a woman:
LaShanna, part-time prostitute
One million dead "witches"
The many ways in which females are punished for being born female
Even Radcliffe women pay the price
Title IX creates jobs for women; men take them
1 of every 50 women a prostitute
The booming sex trade in old-time Chicago
A survey like no other
The erosion of prostitute pay
Why did oral sex get so cheap?
Pimps vs. Realtors (pimpact vs. rimpact)
why cops love prostitutes
where did all the schoolteachers go?
what really accounts for the male-female wage gap
do men love money the way women love kids?
can a sex change boost your salary?
meet Allie, the happy prostitute; why aren't there more women like her?

Chapter 2--In which we discuss compelling aspects of birth & death, though primarily death:
the worst month to have a baby
the natal roulette affects horses too
why Albert Aab will outshine Albert Zyzmor
the birthdate bulge
where does talent come from?
some families produce baseball players; others produce terrorists
why terrorism is so cheap & easy
the trickle-down effects of Sept 11
the man who fixes hospitals
why the newest ERs are already obsolete
how can you tell a good doctor from a bad one?
"bitten by a client at work"
why you want your ER doc to be a woman
a variety of ways to postpone death
why is chemotherapy so widely used when it so rarely works?
"we're still getting our butts kicked by cancer"
war: not as dangerous as you think?
how to catch a terrorist

Chapter 3--In which people are revealed to be less good than previously thought, but also less bad:
why did 38 people watch Kitty Genovese be murdered?
with neighbors like these...
what caused the 1960s crime explosion?
how the ACLU encourages crime
Leave it to Beaver: not as innocent as you think
the roots of altruism, pure & impure
who visits retirement homes?
natural disasters and slow news days
economists make like Galileo & hit the lab
the brilliant simplicity of the Dictator game
people are so generous!
thank goodness for "donorcycles"
the great Iranian kidney experiment
from driving a truck to the ivory tower: John List,economist
why don't real people behave like people in the lab?
the dirty rotten truth about altruism
scarecrows work on people too
Kitty Genovese revisited

Chapter 4--In which big, seemingly intractable problems are solved in surprising ways:
the dangers of childbirth
Ignatz Semmelweis to the rescue
how the Endangered Species Act endangered species
creative ways to keep from paying for your trash
forceps hoarding
the famine that wasn't
300,000 dead whales
the mysteries of polio
what really prevented your heart attack
the killer car
the strange story of Robert McNamara (seatbelts at Ford)
let's drop some skulls down the stairwell
hurray for seatbelts
what's wrong with riding shotgun?
how much good do car seats do?
crash-test dummies tell no lies
why hurricanes kill and what can be done about it

Chapter 5--In which we take a cool, hard look at global warming:
let's melt the ice cap!
what's worse: car exhaust or cow farts?
if you love the earth, eat more kangaroo
it all comes down to negative externalities
TheClub vs. LoJack
Mt Pinatubo teaches a lesson
the obscenely smart, somewhat twisted gentlemen of Intellectual Ventures
Assassinating mosquitoes
"Sir, I am every kind of scientist!"
an inconvenient truthiness
what climate models miss
is carbon dioxide the wrong villain?
big-ass volcanoes and climate change
how the cool the earth
the "garden hose to the sky"
reasons to hate geoengineering
jumping the repugnance barrier
"soggy mirrors" and the puffy-cloud solution (over water)
why behavior change is so hard
dirty hands and deadly doctors
foreskins are falling

Epilogue--Monkeys are people too
microeconomics experiment teaching monkeys to use money
price shocks & income shocks
gambling: loss aversion
crime pays
fear of damage to monkey social structure ends experiments

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim Nice to see you created this book walk through.

Jason Was wondering if I could use your review as a link in my review of Superfreakonomics. Yours is a great birds-eye view of the book.

message 3: by Zoe (new) - rated it 3 stars

Zoe That's not created. As they say, it's the actual table of contents when you start the book.

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