Think Like a Freak

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

Think Like A Freak Book Cover

This short book lays out some habits of mind that the authors of Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics say are behind their success. Mostly it’s about disregarding conventional wisdom and looking at problems from a new perspective. The final chapter, on the benefits of quitting, was probably my favorite. I was slightly bored when they rehashed their previous books to prove their points, but some of the newer stories were interesting. There was an anecdote about health care that I disagreed with, for reasons this columnist lays out pretty well.

I should note that the Playaway version of the book includes 3 episodes of the Freakonomics podcast, covering commitment devices, tipping, and sex differences. I agreed with their conclusions on tipping (abolish it) and sex differences (nurture trumps nature). The podcast is pretty good; if you like the Freakonomics books and podcasts in general, you should check it out.

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