Think Like a Freak

( 26 )

Overview

The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Then came SuperFreakonomics, a documentary film, an award-winning podcast, and more.

Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written 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 ...

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Think Like a Freak

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Overview

The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Then came SuperFreakonomics, a documentary film, an award-winning podcast, and more.

Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written 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.

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.

Some of the steps toward thinking like a Freak:

  • First, put away your moral compass—because it's hard to see a problem clearly if you've already decided what to do about it.
  • Learn to say "I don't know"—for until you can admit what you don't yet know, it's virtually impossible to learn what you need to.
  • Think like a child—because you'll come up with better ideas and ask better questions.
  • Take a master class in incentives—because for better or worse, incentives rule our world.
  • Learn to persuade people who don't want to be persuaded—because being right is rarely enough to carry the day.
  • Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting—because you can't solve tomorrow's problem if you aren't willing to abandon today's dud.

Levitt and Dubner plainly see the world like no one else. Now you can too. Never before have such iconoclastic thinkers been so revealing—and so much fun to read.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

One of its authors recently pretended that he and his co-author expected to sell only about eighty copies of Freakonomics; it sold more than four million. That and the comparable sales of Superfreakonomics make this book choice a sort of no-brainer, but it also brings up a related issue: The very popularity of these two bestsellers make their works easy targets for critiques. After all, the key to their works (definitely including this new one) is being counterintuitive and let's face it, freeing ourselves from expectations isn't always easy. Fortunately, the "think like a freak" thinkers are much less dogmatic than their critics. Several times, they have readdressed issues with remarkable candor in new editions and on websites. To me, that's one reason (and there are many) to read them and keep reading them: Levitt and Dubner approach problems with a sense of curiosity and wonder, not a set-in-stone certainty. That's what I search for in books. —R.J. Wilson, Bookseller, #1002, New York NY

Publishers Weekly
05/05/2014
The bestselling bards of gonzo economics return with this new compendium of nifty, if occasionally shallow contrarian mind-warps. This time University of Chicago economist Levitt and journalist Dubner clothe their Freakonmics schtick in flimsy self-help garb by instructing readers on how to "think like a Freak": ignore conventional wisdom; focus on data; test theories with experiments; don't confuse correlation with causality (married people may be happier, they note, because no one wants to marry a grump); most of all, attend to the devious workings of callow self-interest that rule all things (a principle that comically backfires when one of them uses candy bribes to toilet-train his daughter). Levitt and Dubner apply these nostrums to problems having little to do with economics, including competitive hot dog-eating, why Nigerian con artists advertise themselves as Nigerian con artists, and the game-theoretical ploys of King Solomon and David Lee Roth. Their arguments are lucid, catchy, and sometimes dubious; their brief for the efficacy of medieval trial-by-ordeal is no more convincing than their hackneyed attack on Britain's national health system. The result is brief, blithe, but ill-digested provocations that stimulate controversy, but are too sketchy to settle it. (May)
Financial Times
“Good ideas... expressed with panache.”
The Horn
“An interesting and thought-provoking read.”
New York Daily News
“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...”
Malcolm Gladwell
“Many wonderful moments. ... Utterly captivating.”
New York Post
“Compelling and fun.”
Daily Express (London)
“This book will change your life.”
Bookreporter.com
“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.”
Library Journal
12/01/2013
Levitt and Dubner's Freakonomics sold five million copies. So the authors will likely do well with this book on thinking like a freak—that is, looking at the world in a different way to understand it better. With a one-day laydown on May 13 and a 500,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-16
Co-authors Levitt (Economics/Univ. of Chicago) and journalist Dubner (Super Freakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance, 2009, etc.) continue on their mission to get people to think in new ways in this lively book about decision and persuasion.Building on their first two books, the authors offer advice for dealing with "minor lifehacks or major global reforms." Most people, they argue, "seek out evidence that confirms what they already think, rather than new information that would give them a more robust view of reality." They urge openness to evidence that may seem obvious, counterintuitive or even childish. Children, they conclude, are much more likely than adults to focus on small, solvable problems rather than "intractable, hopelessly complex" issues. "Small questions are by their nature less often asked and investigated….They are virgin territory for true learning," they assert, and much more likely to inspire change. Nine fast-paced, story-filled chapters offer nuggets of useful advice: Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know." It's essential for learning. Reframe questions: "If you ask the wrong question, you are almost guaranteed to get the wrong answer." Stay alert to the real root cause of a problem; it may be far different from what people generally assume. Levitt and Dubner analyze the upsides and downsides of incentives and consider the insidious power of "herd thinking." Genial storytellers, the authors admit that much of their advice may seem like common sense (and, of course, they covered much of this territory already in their previous books), but they cite study after study—by psychologists, sociologists, educators and scientists—to show that sometimes common sense is severely underutilized.Upbeat and optimistic, Levitt and Dubner hope that by thinking "a bit differently, a bid harder, a bit more freely," readers will be able "to go out and right some wrong, to ease some burden."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062218407
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/12/2014
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Audio CD
  • Sales rank: 77,889
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven D. Levitt

Steven D. Levitt, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, was awarded the John Bates Clark medal, given to the most influential American economist under the age of forty. He is also a founder of The Greatest Good, which applies Freakonomics-style thinking to business and philanthropy.

Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He quit his first career—as an almost-rock-star—to become a writer. He has worked for The New York Times and published three non-Freakonomics books. He lives with his family in New York City.

Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He quit his first career—as an almost-rock-star—to become a writer. He has worked for The New York Times and published three non-Freakonomics books. He lives with his family in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

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2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    Here's the problem with this book: it's a re-hash of the popular

    Here's the problem with this book: it's a re-hash of the popular Freakonomics podcast. Literally every chapter has been covered in a podcast. As such, it doesn't have the excitement of new material for long time fans. It's like your favorite band releasing a live album; sure, it's great, but it's not *new*. The writing is as crisp and clear as ever, and the stories are compelling, but if you're a regular podcast listener, you've heard them all before from your Uncles Steve.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    Good w caveats

    Good if u havent listened to their podcasts from which this material is culled. Also a short read c150 pgs the rest r notes. Good for true Freak fans must read if u dont get podcasts and dont know the material already. Hoping for a more traditional full length tome in the future tho. Btw thx to secret suoerheroes dub& lev you'll see why when u get to the british terrorists section

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2014

    I become a real freak whenever I read one of the Freakonomics bo

    I become a real freak whenever I read one of the Freakonomics books and this new addition is no different. I love their fresh perspective and insight.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2014

    Perfect

    Perfect

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Well done! I love it.

    Well done!

    I love it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    Awesome book!

    Great book to give you different ways to think, to learn and be open minded! Totally reccomend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2014

    Highly recommended

    Must read for everyone

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    Vince porpole

    Its a ok book

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    Parodox

    "I'm here."

    1 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2014

    Good Read

    Interesting and informative stories.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    JOIN ASHCLAN

    Join ashclan at asher res 1

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    Allicorn town

    The town is beautifully shimmering with glory and wonder. The houses are made of diamond. In the center is a statue of a white allicorn, her head raised high and her wings open.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    Is this book appropriate for children?

    Please answer me in this next review.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    New girl

    "Hello? Id like to join/whatevee." The new girl is about fourteen has dirty blond hair and red eyes with glasses. "Im a vampire/werewolf... is that bad? My name is Violet Clearwater."

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    rp map

    1 the map
    2 main rp room
    3 biographys
    4 where we keep the vamps "snacks"
    5 all vamp type class including dhampir ( half vamp half human)
    6 weres ( wolves, cats, wererats, ect)
    7 fairies or fae, leprachons, drawfs, hobbits, sprites, species like that
    8 angels
    9 demons
    10 mutant and genetic alterations
    11 super powers
    12 other

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    Anyone hete

    ?

    0 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2014

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