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From the rule-breaking authors of international bestsellers Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics, this is the ultimate guide to how to Think Like a Freak
The Freakonomics books have come to stand for something: challenging conventional wisdom; using data rather than emotion to answer questions; and learning to unravel the world's secret codes. Now Levitt and Dubner have gathered up what they have learned and turned it into a readable and practical toolkit for thinking differently - thinking, that is, like a Freak. Whether you are interested in the best way to improve your odds in penalty kicks, or in major global reforms, here is a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems.
Along the way, you'll learn how the techniques of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion can help you, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they're from Nigeria, and why Van Halen's demanding tour contract banning brown M&Ms was really a safety measure. You'll learn why sometimes it's best to put away your moral compass, and smarter to think like a child. You will be given a master class in incentives-because for better or worse, incentives rule our world. And you will learn to quit before you fail, because you can't solve tomorrow's problem if you aren't willing to abandon today's dud.
Levitt and Dubner 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.
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.