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 Levitt, blogs for the New York Times—chipped in with criticisms too.
The curse of counterintuition
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