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SuperFreakonomics with Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

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Commonwealth Club of California

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Previous FORAtv comments:
phiscal Avatar
Posted: 01.25.10, 04:43 PM
to Rodrigo above: The financial crisis was not caused by economists.
AnaPaulina Avatar
Posted: 11.23.09, 09:36 PM
The focus should be on the surfaces that become contaminated due to contaminated gloves.
theguy Avatar
Posted: 11.12.09, 10:21 PM
Why is the mile the appropriate unit for the denominator? Of course more miles are driven drunk than they are walked. It would be more meaningful to divide the deaths by the number of times engaging in each drunk walking and drunk driving. I guess Freakonomics is catchier than Sensationalist-onomics.
scottyecho Avatar
Posted: 11.12.09, 12:50 PM
Will someone please define a measurable definition of the word 'Drunk' so that we can have some accurate statistics, instead of pc retoric.
adambl Avatar
Posted: 11.11.09, 01:03 PM Great article about the power of sanitation in hospitals. Following a simple checklist reduced infection rates by 66%, and yet many doctors and hospitals are unwilling to follow it. Kind of frustrating.
surtr Avatar
Posted: 11.11.09, 03:56 AM
FLAWED, FLAWED, FLAWED. Levitt & Dubner are academics whose special power is to be able to sexify topics like handwashing for the masses and titling their books catchy names like "Freakonomics". The sexying up of topics is done primarily by using hyperbole ("you should wash your hands before you put them inside a person" verges on slander). They also (conveniently?) ignore the nurses-doctor split in their study using "nursing spies", despite blathering on about psychological issues through this clip. The disparity of 70% to 9% is never explained or considered except as "doctors lie, but unconsciously, so they're not like, you know, BAD people". I also think doctors don't wash their hands enough , but in NSW the focus is on ALL clinical staff to wash their hands - because doctors are not the only people "putting hands inside people". It would have been fascinating to have run a similar handwashing study but using a neutral third party 'spy' and observed ALL clinical staff, including nurses, for handwashing. Very disappointing to see two celebrity academics cherry pick data and choose to remain blind to possible flaws in the data. Should have been warned by their pre-emptive "we're not doctor bashing" note, those sentences are always like "I'm not racist, but..." statements.
Rodrigo Arnez-Rojas Avatar
Rodrigo Arnez-Rojas
Posted: 11.10.09, 08:48 PM
Instead of pointing fingers and whistle blowing on doctors I’d find it more interesting to hear Dubner and Levitt’s take on why economists are washing their hands off on the financial crisis and why they failed to anticipate and respond. Maybe there’s a perception deficit on how they think they’re doing and how they are really doing.
regi naomi Avatar
regi naomi
Posted: 11.10.09, 04:28 PM
Docs and hand washing: a problem looking for a fairly easy solution. Why not automatic handwashers? Doc just sticks hands into 2 holes in machine, and hands are automatically sprayed with antibiotic soap & warm water, rinsed, then air dried within seconds? That would save docs time from looking for old-fashioned wet sloppy sink, adjusting hot & cold water, reaching for soap, paper towel, etc.