October 18, 2009

You don't say!

Steven D. Levitt's and Stephen Dubner's new surefire bestseller ¡SuperFreakonomics! is being widely anathematized for exhibiting signs of heretical doubts about Global Warming or Climate Change or whatever it's called these days.

In his defense, Dubner blogs on the New York Times in Global Warming in SuperFreakonomics: The Anatomy of a Smear:
Yes, it’s an ancient clich√©: a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. But it’s still accurate.

Gosh, Steve and Steve, you don't say!

Funny how Levitt became a global celebrity for theorizing in 1999 that legalizing abortion cut crime, even though juvenile homicide rates for teens born in the half decade following legalization were several times higher than for teens born in the half decade preceding legalization, as I pointed out in our debate in Slate in August 1999.

A half dozen years later, he made that theory the centerpiece of Steve's and Steve's Freakonomics despite having no plausible refutation other than it was all based on very complicated statistics that little me wouldn't understand. Then, late in 2005, Boston Fed economists Christopher Foote and Christopher Goetz tried to replicate Levitt's findings and found he had simply made two technical mistakes in his programming that made a hash of his results.

By then, however, Steve and Steve's lie had traveled all the way round the world and their permanent celebrity status was assured.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

7 comments:

John Seiler said...

"By then, however, Steve and Steve's lie had traveled all the way round the world and their permanent celebrity status was assured"...

...and their bank accounts increased by several orders of magnitude.

Anonymous said...

Global warming, climate change - this bloggerDumb Jonr favours the term Gerbil Worming.

Anonymous said...

I think we can all agree that Steve was dead wrong on this one.

Chi said...

"By then, however, Steve and Steve's lie had traveled all the way round the world and their permanent celebrity status was assured."

A rare occasion where a lie has actually been warmly received and in favour of human bio-diversity. Surely their abortion/crime link is basically an argument in favour of encouraging some people not to have children?

Anonymous said...

Steve, have you ever told us what your own personal position on abortion is, whether morally, or in terms of positive or negative impact on society? It would really be interesting to know!

Anonymous said...

"Steve, have you ever told us what your own personal position on abortion is, whether morally, or in terms of positive or negative impact on society? It would really be interesting to know!"


No, it would not be interesting to know Steve's position on abortion (or anything else) based simply on the favorite human reason, "I think, therefore it's true."

It would be interesting to know what percent of all white abortions are for medical reasons, vs. what percent of black and hispanic abortions are for medical reasons.

Since blacks abort at a much higher rate, it is reasonable to assume more of the fetuses are healthy. Since the white rate is so much lower and white women are older mothers on average, it stands to reason that a much higher percentage of abortions among whites are for medical reasons either fetal anomaly or serious maternal health issue.

I would be interested in Steve's statistics and commentary more than his just sayin'.

Most readers here are looking for analysis based on facts and honest criticism.

There are plenty of blogs with folks just sayin'.

PRCalDude said...

as I pointed out in our debate in Slate in August 1999.

Sounds like we should brace ourselves for another civil war amongst Steves.