SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling Quotes.

1. "In the United States especially, politics and economics don’t mix well. Politicians have all sorts of reasons to pass all sorts of laws that, as well-meaning as they may be, fail to account for the way real people respond to real-world incentives."
- Steven D. Levitt, SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling

2. "Most of us want to fix or change the world in some fashion. But to change the world, you first have to understand it."
- Steven D. Levitt, SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling

3. "When the solution to a given problem doesn’t lay right before our eyes, it is easy to assume that no solution exists. But history has shown again and again that such assumptions are wrong. This is not to say the world is perfect. Nor that all progress is always good. Even widespread societal gains inevitably produce losses for some people. That’s why the economist Joseph Schumpeter referred to capitalism as creative destruction. But humankind has a great capacity for finding technological solutions to seemingly intractable problems, and this will likely be the case for global warming. It isn’t that the problem isn’t potentially large. It’s just that human ingenuity—when given proper incentives—is bound to be larger. Even more encouraging, technological fixes are often far simpler, and therefore cheaper, than the doomsayers could have imagined. Indeed, in the final chapter of this book we’ll meet a band of renegade engineers who have developed not one but three global-warming fixes, any of which could be bought for less than the annual sales tally of all the Thoroughbred horses at Keeneland auction house in Kentucky."
- Steven D. Levitt, SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling

4. "Many of life's decisions are hard. What kind of career should you pursue? Does your ailing mother need to be put in a nursing home? You and your spouse already have two kids; should you have a third? such decisions are hard for a number of reasons. For one the stakes are high. There's also a great deal of uncertainty involved. Above all, decisions like these are rare, which means you don't get much practice making them. You've probably gotten good at buying groceries, since you do it so often, but buying your first house is another thing entirely."
- Steven D. Levitt, SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling

5. "Deliberate practice has three key components: setting specific goals; obtaining immediate feedback; and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome."
- Steven D. Levitt, SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling

6. "In a complex world where people can be atypical in an infinite number of ways, there is great value in discovering the baseline. And knowing what happens on average is a good place to start. By so doing, we insulate ourselves from the tendency to build our thinking - our daily decisions, our laws, our governance - on exceptions and anomalies rather than on reality."
- Steven D. Levitt, SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling

7. "People who buy annuities, it turns out, live longer than people who don’t, and not because the people who buy annuities are healthier to start with. The evidence suggests that an annuity’s steady payout provides a little extra incentive to keep chugging along."
- Steven D. Levitt, SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling

8. "From 2002 to 2008, the United States was fighting bloody wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; among active military personnel, there were an average 1,643 fatalities per year. But over the same stretch of time in the early 1980s, with the United States fighting no major wars, there were more than 2,100 military deaths per year. How can this possibly be? For one, the military used to be much larger: 2.1 million on active duty in 1988 versus 1.4 million in 2008. But even the rate of death in 2008 was lower than in certain peacetime years. Some of this improvement is likely due to better medical care. But a surprising fact is that the accidental death rate for soldiers in the early 1980s was higher than the death rate by hostile fire for every year the United States has been fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. It seems that practicing to fight a war can be just about as dangerous as really fighting one. And,"
- Steven D. Levitt, SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling

9. "When Al Gore urges the citizenry to sacrifice their plastic shopping bags, their air-conditioning, their extraneous travel, the agnostics grumble that human activity accounts for just 2 percent of global carbon-dioxide emissions, with the remainder generated by natural processes like plant decay."
- Steven D. Levitt, SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling

10. "So it may be that going to the hospital slightly increases your odds of surviving if you’ve got a serious problem but increases your odds of dying if you don’t. Such are the vagaries of life."
- Steven D. Levitt, SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling

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