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Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain Paperback – July 7, 2015
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“Utterly captivating.” (Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times bestselling author of Blink, The Tipping Point, and David and Goliath)
“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)
“Compelling and fun.” (New York Post)
“This book will change your life.” (Daily Express (London))
“Good ideas... expressed with panache.” (Financial Times)
“An interesting and thought-provoking read.” (The Horn)
“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)
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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Top customer reviews
Like many other people, after reading both of the Freakonomics books, I felt like I learned a ton, but I wasn't sure how it would apply directly to my life.
And that's okay. They weren't writing a self help book, and I read their work because I was genuinely curious in understanding how the world works.
But this book departs from their usual method of explaining how the world works and instead shows you how you can better live in the world.
And that's why I believe this is their best book yet.
Here's a little summary of what I learned:
1. In one chapter, the three hardest words in the english language, they talk about one of the main problems that plagues people today - the inability to say "I don't know." And they show you how it's a deadly combination because "cocky plus wrong" is a recipe for disaster. They then show you how to avoid making this mistake. They even give a word for word script you can use.
2. In another chapter, "WHat's your problem," they share the story of Kobayashi and how he became a professional hot dog - and food eater. They walked through his entire process and how he went on to eat 50 hot dogs when people thought eating 30 was impossible. And even though they're talking about hot dogs, you'll see how this can apply to everyone.
As an example, back when I started creating videos for Social Triggers TV, a friend of mine told me they were filming about 6 videos a day. And I thought, "Well, I'm new at this ther's no way ill get there." And I would film 3 videos a day. Eventually, as I got good, I got to the magic number - 6 videos in a day and I felt like I was on top of the world. Until I spoke to another friend who told me they do 15 or 20 videos in a day. I was SHOCKED. But I went back to the drawing board, refined my process, and eventually got up to 17 videos in a day.
I'm being vague here, mainly because I want you to read the book. But it's funny seeing how the same process I used to increase my video production was used by the hot dog champ as well.
3. And my favorite part of the book is when they talk about what they call "the once and done" technique. If you're a non-profit, you'll LOVE reading about this because you'll see how you can potentially increase donations a drastic amount by using this simple marketing tactic.
And that's it.
Great book and I suggest you buy it and read it.
"... 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."
Great book and an easy read. Provides the reader with a different way of thinking about the world. Rather than thinking like everyone else (or not thinking at all like everyone else), it helps you to realize that you need to look at things from a different perspective and recognize that things are not as obvious as they seem. So many people just accept what they hear from someone else and do not bother to question and prove it for themselves. Does a nice job of inspiring you to "think like a Freak" and gives some nice examples where what people had accepted as true were not even close. Also gives some helpful examples of how to create experiments to get the data needed to draw accurate conclusions.
Some of the reviewers of this book complained that the stories told and data on which conclusions were drawn did not site sources. Apparently these reviewers did not bother do go beyond the last chapter. The book includes all of the source and data citations at the back of the book.
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.