Amy Reads Books

Superfreakonomics

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance - Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner I enjoyed Freakonomics, much to my own surprise as I was a little intimated by the idea of economics, and maths has never been a subject that I enjoyed very much. However, Freakonomics' focus on more sociological issues really drew me in and so I was eager to read the 'freakquel'.Superfreakonomics is a little more tied together than its predecessor, but still has a wide ranging scope looking at everything from prostitution to what human nature is truly about. Again, Levitt & Dubner use totally understandable language to put across their ideas, which are frequently not necessarily those that you want to hear. It also seems that this time round there were a great deal more interviews which triggered chapters, and it was certainly interesting to learn about things like the invention institute part funded by one of the founder's of Microsoft.The two chapters I found most interesting were the one that dealt with terrorism and the one that explored altruism. The 'to catch a terrorist' chapter was probably most interesting to me as issues of national/international security generally really fascinate me. However, the fact that a guy has literally invented an algorithm that can be used to track down terrorists from their banking patterns is pretty impressive anyway in my opinion. The discussion of whether humans are predisposed to being good or bad was really interesting, and a move away from some of the more standard topical issues discussed in the book. Levitt & Dubner present both sides of the argument and if you've ever wondered what would happen if you introduce money to monkeys this chapter has the (rather surprising) results.Superfreakonomics is a really interesting look at various topical issues from a different perspective, and I really recommend.