Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain Paperback – 7 July 2015
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"Utterly captivating."--Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times bestselling author of Blink, The Tipping Point, and David and Goliath
"An interesting and thought-provoking read."--The Horn
"Compelling and fun."--New York Post
"Over nine entertaining chapters [Levitt and Dubner] demonstrate how not to fall into hackneyed approaches to solving problems and concretely illustrate how to reframe questions."--New York Daily News
"Their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally --- to think, that is, like a Freak."--Bookreporter.com
"This book will change your life."--Daily Express (London)
From the Back Cover
Put away your moral compass. Learn to say I don't know. Think like a child.
Take a master class in incentives. Appreciate the upside of quitting. . . . And more!
Think Like a Freak is Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner's most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally--to think, that is, like a Freak.
Levitt and Dubner offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems, whether your interest lies in minor lifehacks or major global reforms. As always, no topic is off-limits. They range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain. Along the way, you'll learn the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they're from Nigeria.
Never before have such iconoclastic thinkers been so revealing--and so much fun to read.
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"... I think we should treat health and life and death more like a regular good....we need to - it's unfortunate, but we need to - make these horrible choices, where we decide, are going to send our kids to college or are we going to keep great-grandma alive for two more weeks, and the cost might be about the same for those two things. Right now we shy away from those decisions, and we pretend like life has infinite value and we can't make these choices."
The authors of Think Like a Freak try to present problems in a way that spin them on their head and force the reader to change their thinking and perspective. Saying “I don’t know” is HARD for most people. It admits defeat in some sort of way and most people don’t want to be wrong or defeated, naturally. But, the authors offer a new way of thinking. Saying “I don’t know” is not defeat, it is the beginning, the jumping off point for new discovery. It also, as the authors say, offers “the power of a good, randomized experiment.” Not knowing is not defeat!
As a teacher, the chapter called “What’s Your Problem?” spoke the most to me. It speaks a great deal toward the education problems in the US. Teachers are under enormous strain from almost every angle possible, and Think Like a Freak offers a new perspective for tackling some of those problems. This book is changing my view of what it calls “noisy problems” and making me realize that there are new ways to experiment with learning. Students who come with baggage can be helped if we look at the problem a little differently. We all have barriers that we face out there, it is up to all of us change our perspective.
Q: Who is it for? A: It is not for persons who have spent years reading about Epistemology (like the current writer) but for people who need something that is very light in tone and deliberately made to be very interesting.
Q: What are some of the sources that expand on the nature of some of the topics covered in this book? A: 1. Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-By-Numbers is the New Way To Be Smart . Talks about only finding relationships between variables and not getting too caught up in cause and effects; 2. Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure . Talks about making failures survivable and how learning what *doesn't* work is just as important as learning what does work; 3. Various books by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. This book talks about the limits of what *can* actually be known.
Q: Do I recommend this book? A: Yes. Even for the full price (Kindle). And even for people who know most of all this information, it's good seeing the authors update said information with new and interesting examples and good prose.