Thursday, June 05, 2014

Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain, by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

(hb; 2014: nonfiction.  Follow-up work to Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics)


From the inside flap:

"Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner single-handedly showed the world that applying counter-intuitive approaches to everyday problems can bear surprising results.

"Think Like A Freak will take readers further inside this special thought process, revealing a new way of approaching the decisions we make, the plans we create, and the morals we choose. It answers the question on the lips of everyone who’s read the previous books: How can I apply these ideas to my life? How do I make smarter, harder, and better decisions? How can I truly think like a freak?

"With short, highly entertaining insights running the gamut from 'The Upside of Quitting' to 'How to Succeed-With No Talent,' Think Like A Freak is poised to radically alter the way we think about all aspects of life on this planet."



Review:

Like Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics, Think illustrates and celebrates the art of looking at things (whether it's a hot dog eating contest or more meaningful life experiences) in different, intuitive and fact-based ways to arrive at fresh results and outlooks, whether they're successful or don't-do-that learning experiences (what some would call "failure").

What differentiates Think from those first two books is that it expressly shows how readers, with a few simple steps, can break out of everyday acceptance of "common sense" thinking that often limits what we (can) do, collectively and individually.  Levitt and Dubner don't offer easy solutions to anything, but Think, with its entertaining examples and its re-examinations of experiments mentioned in their previous books, does offer an intriguing read, as well as actions we can take to make this a better, gentler and more productive world.

Even if you find yourself disagreeing with Dubner and Levitt's suggestions, Think will (likely) compel you to (more) consciously consider your decision-making processes and worldview, as well as those of the people around you.

This is book, out of the many books I've read, is one of the few that I plan to not only own*, but re-read in a few years (to refresh my memory).  Check it out.


[*In my reviews I often say certain books are "worth owning" - and they are, at least in my estimation.  This, however, doesn't necessarily mean that I actually own all of them, as I have limited space to keep them. ]

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