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Superfreakonomics

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on 13 December 2013

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Transcript of Superfreakonomics

How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa?
Easier to be male than female throughout history
Women have higher life expectancy
National median income for women: $47,000; men: $66,000
women: more likely to leave work to raise family/discrimination
Everleigh Club: "butterfly girls", $430,000 a year per girl.
What do Al Gore and Mount Pinatubo have in common?
"Value Investing"
Why should suicide bombers buy life insurance?
Image by Tom Mooring
Superfreakonomics
Authors: Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
By: Tiffany Belton, Geirsa Culiqi, Michael Danese, Jenna Eminger, Rose W.

Apathy
March 1964, Thursday night in New York city the Genovese murder took place.
The Dictator game
Sudhir Venkatesh
Accumulated data on 160 prostitutes in 3 separate neighborhoods:

10 sex acts a week

hourly wage of $27, weekly: $350

83% were drug addicts

3 of the women died
Apathy- lack of feeling or emotion
The fix is in- and it's cheap and simple
Unbelievable stories about
apathy and altruism

Altruism- feelings and behavior that show a desire to help others
Kitty Genovese was 28 and murdered and raped by Winston Moseley.
In the news report stated that 38 citizens witnessed the three separate attacks and not one person called the police.
The classic version shows that people have altruism
All they did was add more choices, and it turns out we aren't as altruistic as we thought
This game is designed to predict how altruistic humans are. Annika has to give/take to Zelda.
Many people think that suicide bombers are from poor impoverished families and are uneducated, but most of them come from middle class families and go beyond high school.
The 9/11 tragedy that occurred opened our eyes to the fact that maybe our medical facilities are not advanced enough to handle large emergencies like this.
Pimp prostitution(right) vs. Solo Prostitution(left)
no pimp is controlling you
make sure she has food and shelter
no arrests
better clientele
protection against gangs/violence
Prostitute

Working Solo

Working With Pimp
Weekly Salary
$325


$410
Avg. Tricks per Week
7.8
6.2
1 in 10 prostitution arrests lead to a prison sentence

demand for prostitutes has fallen dramatically

feminist revolution

The Equal Pay Act of 1963

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Most women have another job on the side of prostitution

All encountered had a high school degree or less/ from poor areas of the nation
They opened their U.S. accounts with cash or cash equivalents, in the average amount of roughly $4,000, usually at a branch of a large, well-known bank.
They typically used a P.O. box as an address, and the addresses changed frequently
Some of them regularly sent and received wire transfers to and from other countries, but these transactions were always below the limit that triggered the bank's reporting requirements
They tended to make one large deposit and then withdraw cash in small amounts over time
Their banking didn't reflect normal living expenses like rent, utilities, auto payments, insurance, and so on
Their was no typical monthly consistency in the timing of their deposits or withdrawals
They didn't use savings accounts or safe-deposit boxes
The ratio of cash withdrawals to checks written was unusually high

Banking History of the 19 Terrorists of 9/11
Many people said they thought it was just a lovers quarrel and nothing important.
As well to start with the police said there was three attacks when only two actually occurred
One man actually did phone the police and the
police just took their time and the man called
again and then the police took the
situation more seriously
Altruism
Humans seemed to be programed with
altruistic traits.
That many people donate kidneys and that seems
to be altruistic, but why are there becoming less and
less people on the donor list.
Baseball trading cards
List would walk the trading floor and asked people to step into the back room for an experiment.
- customer would list his price
- dealer would give a card the matched the price
The outcome of that is that it was equal and fair


List replicated it
- the dealer didnt know he was watched
- the customer would go up and ask for a card of $65 or $20 value
The outcome of the realistic version is that the dealer screwed them
what can seem to be altruism may actually be just
the want to show off and seem like a good person and
impress who every they have in mind
Human behavior is influenced greatly by a set
of incentives, social norms and past experiences
The baseball trading card game shows this

According to IV scientists on the issue of global warming:
Changes in carbon-dioxide levels don't necessarily mirror human activity.
Waters rising is due to the thermal expansion of water as it warms up.
Many proposed to solve global warming are either too little, too late, or too optimistic
So how are they alike?
Al Gore
Mount Pinatubo
The "patron saint" of the modern conservation movement
Created the documentary film An Inconvenient truth
Founded the Alliance for climate protection
Fights to change humanities ways to prevent global warming
Erupted for nine furious hours on June 15, 1991
The eroded, wooded mountain in the Philippine island of Luzon turned out to be a volcano
The stratospheric haze of the sulfur dioxide acted as a layer of sunscreen, cooling the area immensely
Scientists studied the global cooling effects and theorized that an eruption of the same size every few years would offset much of the warming expected in the next century
Both Gore and Pinatubo suggest a way to cool the planet, with differences in methods.
Respected scientist Ken Caldeira suggests:
It's not that the increase of carbon-dioxide is bad, it's the rate at which it's increasing.
Agrees that human activity is making the earth warmer.
Gore suggests a more cost efficient and easier way to cool the earth
Pinatubo suggests a more costly and revolutionary way to cool the earth.
In this version they both worked for the money
Here they could take
give or neither
You can do things cheaply and simple or you can do things overly complex and expensive. As well as how some of these solutions have shaped humanity.
Seat Belt vs Car Seat
Simple but effective.
High Traffic Fatality Rates Reduced by 70%
Ideally seat belts are designed for adults to use.
Studies show that when a child (2 and older) was only using seat belts, their death rate was slightly less (.01%) and a correctly strapped in car seat.
Author explains this as being the best example of where something complicated does more harm than good.
Car Seat are often for the parents own peace of mind.
Washing Your Hands Can Save Lives
He implemented a rule, which doctors had to wash their hands before giving birth.

The death rate plummeted.
Something as simple as that saved millions of lives.
The women and the children had worse rates of death if they delivered at hospitals.

Ignatz Semmelweis
was determining to find out.

Ways To Prevent Hurricanes
The book explained that the way hurricanes work is that warm waters cause them to get stronger.
And how a simple device (like an
Inner Tube
that goes down several hundred feet) could be the solution.
Hungarian physician of German descent who is now known as an early pioneer in the procedures of antiseptics.
Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis
"Savior of Mothers"

"Young women in Cameroon
have their breast "ironed" to
make them less sexually tempting"

"What makes terrorism particularly
maddening is that killing isn't even
the main point"
"For more than half an hour 38 respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in 3 separate attacks"
"Not every solution can be as elegant as we might like"
"This climatic change poses a threat to the people of the world"
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