Dubner’s response to the “superfreakonomics” accusations

Read it here. I note it does not discuss Krugman’s criticism, which I deem serious, and which aired in a NYT blog, just as the freakonomics blog is a NYT blog. I am curious to see what their response will be to Krugman, if any. Dubner and Levitt can hardly say Krugman is spreading smears about them; they either misread the Weitzman article, or they did not. It looks like they misread it; it’s up to them to convince me otherwise.

I still have no intention of buying Superfreakonomics. I’ll be damned if I reward the authors and the publisher of such stuff that passes for science writing. Again, I will keep an eye open for any adequate answers by Levitt and Dubner; I have not seen any yet.

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2 thoughts on “Dubner’s response to the “superfreakonomics” accusations”

  1. It’s interesting to note that the majority of their defense so far has amounted to combating the belief that they are “deniers”. As you’ve noted, that’s not actually the accusation. However, as soon as you go into a climate discussion, combining the word “denialist” with religious comparisons (which they did in their book), you get a comment-feed bloodbath, at which point anyone asking them to address their actual concerns are promptly buried by enraged commenters. That is, if they accept the comment at all (several early requests to deal with other challenges didn’t make it past their moderation).

    Since that post, they seem to have shifted gears a bit: They’ve started calling their accusers “shrill”. They address a piece of timing of personal e-mails with Joe Romm while ignoring Paul Krugman, and they link to an unnamed “well-known environmental advocacy group” that is actually the Union of Concerned Scientists. This is pretty much exactly the same tactics used years ago when people started attacking Krugman for complaining about the economics of the Bush tax cuts – they ignored the complaints and called the accuser “shrill”.

    On a related note, the majority of their third-party defenders that I’ve seen are using similar smokescreen defenses. For instance, The American Spectator essentially said “why are all these liberals complaining now when they didn’t complain about the abortion chapter in the first Freakonomics”, which A) doesn’t defend Levitt and Dubner, and B) ignores the flak Superfreakonomics has received from conservatives, such as Andrew Sullivan.

    I’ve been following all of this as it developed; my name should link to the list I’ve compiled so far, and all the sources for the above claims.

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