Monday, July 7, 2014

Think like a freak by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt

A long time ago (about three years, which is what, 30 years in blog years?), I read and reviewed Freakonomics. It's a fun read, and I think it's due for a re-review.

But before I go hunt down the book to re-read, I managed to get my hands on an e-gally of the latest book Think Like a Freak. I was really intrigued by the promise that I too, could be as interesting an economist as the two authors.

This book has nine chapters, with the introduction of "What Does it Mean to Think Like a Freak?" and then answers the question by proposing solutions like 'be curious like a child', 'approach a problem from a different angle/question', 'don't be afraid to quit' etc. In every chapter, the authors bring up a few case studies to illustrate the point. And of course, the book ends with plenty of footnotes, so those that are skeptical can go check them out for themselves.

It may have been a long time ago since I read Freakonomics (or its related books), but it feels like one of the previous books. This is less a how-to guide and more of of interesting stories, plus the authors straight up tell you one of the methods they use. So if you're looking for specific plans and exercises, then you've come to the wrong place.

Personally, I found the book entertaining. Did I come away with a whole new outlook on life? Not really. But I did learn about a few interesting topics, such as a Japanese competitive eater, and why Nigerian scams are written as badly as they are (it's to save time and effort to make sure only the gullible reply).

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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