Friday, June 29, 2012

A Season Of Reading - Superfreakonomics

Since recently acquiring a library card (I know some of you are horrified by that), I have re-discovered what a wonderous land the public library is.  My commute has also become much much more bearable as I tear through audio book after audio book.  Right now, I am listening to Water For Elephants, which I am sure I will discuss with you in the coming weeks, but today I want to tell you about Superfreakonomics.
Superfreakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner is subtitled "Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance," but that only begins to sum up the thoughts that went into this work.  They did not have Freakonomics at my library, so I compromised and took on the second book first.  While the first 15 minutes were them apologizing for their controversial nature, and explaining some issues that came up in the first book, it was genuinely interesting and entertaining.  Honestly, as a business major, I loved it.  It is an unconventional approach to economics, and uses principles we learned in business school in a creative way.  That is how my brain works! 
I love that they argue that drunk walking is more dangerous than drunk driving, statistically.  I love that they are not afriad to talk to prostitutes to get information from them for an economic study.  I love the research on ways to end natural disasters and the completely crazy methods and testing that is taking place.  I really just loved hearing little known information and absorbing as much of it as I could.  Some of the findings presented blew me away; while some were items I wish more people cared to know!  I loved the paths that they took to get to their conclusions.  They must have sat down and mapped it out then sighed and just started writing furiously to connect the dots.
I thought this book was wonderful.  Listening to it was something I daily looked forward to when it was my audio book du jour.  Just like so many psychology minded friends of mine love reading Malcolm Gladwell, I would recommend these books to business minded (and politically minded) people.  I am sure a self-righteous person may claim this book to have no worth, but I beg to differ.  They may not be treating these issues with as much reverence as some would request, but I think it is taking some items that may not necessarily be well known, and putting a pleasant spin on them to get them heard.  Plus they are not dealing with the emotion of situations, just the economics.
I recommend this book for entertainment value alone, and you might just learn something!

1 comment:

  1. This is a good book. If you want something similar, I'd suggest you and Bill both check out "Soccernomics". Its a similar analysis of statistics applied to soccer (particuarly the Premier League). This was one of the books I read over vacation and was pretty easy to breeze through.