Alan Blinder Approves of President Obama on Economics
links for 2009-10-19

All Right. One More. I Gotta Correct the Record...

Steven Dubner writes:

Global Warming in SuperFreakonomics: The Anatomy of a Smear - Freakonomics Blog - Much of the outcry was made by people who had read Romm but not our book — which isn’t surprising, since the book isn’t out until October 20. As the noise grew, Romm added on the charge that “the publisher has stopped Amazon from allowing people to search the book” – that is, to read the actual text online. Smells like a conspiracy theory, no?

But nobody stopped anything. The text was never searchable on Amazon for the simple reason that the book wasn’t yet published, which is standard procedure. I don’t know where Romm got this fact – or if perhaps it was just too good a rumor to not be true...

(1) Dubner's "nobody stopped anything" is simply wrong. Romm posted a .pdf of Freakonomics chapter 5. Somebody--Dubner and Levitt's publisher--then did require Romm to take it down. That takedown is in sharp contrast to the behavior of some other publishers these days, who are eager to offer sample chapters online.

(2) Moreover, Romm says that as of last week he was able to use Amazon's "search inside the book" function on Superfreakonomics, and that somebody turned it off. I believe him: SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance (9780061927577): Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner: Books