The curse of counterintuition

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The curse of counterintuition


Superfreakonomics: too counter-intuitive for its own good?

The blogosphere is abuzz over Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner’s Superfreakonomics, published in the US and Britain tomorrow. The book, subtitled Global cooling, patriotic prostitutes and why suicide bombers should buy life insurance, is the sequel to their 1996 bestseller Freakonomics and shares its irreverent approach to economics. While it has earned a few positive early reviews, such as Tim Harford’s in the FT (our arts & books editor Tom Chatfield reviews the book in Prospect‘s forthcoming November issue), the fuss centres over the last chapter on global warming. US blog Climate Progress flipped its lid with a post calling the book “error-ridden” with “many, many pieces of outright nonsense.” (The blog’s analysis continues in parts 2, 3, 4 and 5.) Real Climate debunked the global cooling myth and economist Paul Krugman—who like Dubner and

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  1. October 20, 2009


    For those who want to follow ins and outs of the superfreaks’ take on geoengineering, a couple of posts on my blog, heliophage

  2. October 22, 2009


    I’m less charitable towards the the pair of authors and think their counter-inuitiveness is simply a marketing ploy. Their colleagues and former colleagues are being far to gentle with them. Shit is shit after all and there is nothing wrong with says so.

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Susha Ireland

Susha Ireland is senior editor at Prospect 

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