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Think Like a Freak CD: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain Audio CD – Audiobook, 12 May 2014

3.9 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 5 pages
  • Publisher: HarperAudio; Unabridged edition (12 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062218409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062218407
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 14.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 504,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Good ideas... expressed with panache."--Financial Times

"An interesting and thought-provoking read."--The Horn

"Many wonderful moments. ... Utterly captivating."--Malcolm Gladwell, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Blink", "The Tipping Point", and "David and Goliath"

"Compelling and fun."--New York Post

"This book will change your life."--Daily Express (London)

"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."--Bookreporter.com

"Utterly captivating."--Malcolm Gladwell, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Blink," "The Tipping Point," and "David and Goliath"

"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."--New York Daily News

Utterly captivating. --Malcolm Gladwell, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Blink," "The Tipping Point," and "David and Goliath""

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. --New York Daily News"

Compelling and fun. --New York Post"

This book will change your life. --Daily Express (London)"

Good ideas... expressed with panache. --Financial Times"

An interesting and thought-provoking read. --The Horn"

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. --Bookreporter.com" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything.

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 offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems. The topics 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.

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." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn’t get around to reading Freakonomics until 2007, but loved it, and immediately read Superfreakonomics, which while also good was less remarkable. It did draw me to the blog, and latterly the podcast which I download and listen to each week. When Dubner and Leavitt (D&L) announced their third book, I was happy to pre-order. (Pretty annoying that we Brits had to wait a whole extra day to get it – in the US it was released at just after midnight on Monday 12 May, it didn’t become available in Britain until the 13th!) That having been said, it downloaded onto my Kindle this morning and I’ve read it cover to cover.

“The plural of anecdote is not data”, the authors remind us, and I suppose that the one criticism I would level at this book is that quite a lot of the characteristics of “Freak” thinkers are based on singular or occasional observations by the authors and their many collaborators/cited sources. While the earlier books focussed mainly on Professor Leavitt’s research into criminal and other rule breaking activities and referenced what were clearly large data sets, that seems to be less the case here. This is a book that is based as much on psychology as it is on economics and statistics, although there is a light sprinkling of economic concepts - sunk costs, opportunity costs, incentives to name just a few.

This book is a manual of sorts to help thinking about the way that the authors do. There is a slight feel of a self-help book, but with such laid back authors, there’s no feeling of being presented with an insurmountable challenge – the first bit of advice to help you “Think like a Freak” is to admit you don’t know, and the last is to quit if you want to – it might make you happier.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very quick read. While better than the flawed Superfreakonomics it is very different from the original book. Fewer examples and interesting pieces, more a companion to the first book and covering much the same ground as their podcast.

If you pick this up cheap it's worth the hour or two it'll take you to read, but if you've not read Freakonomics that is the book to go for.
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Format: Hardcover
In their latest book, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner cite several examples of people who trick guilty parties (i.e. those who prey upon people who are ignorant and/or gullible) into unwittingly revealing their guilt through their own behavior. Here are three examples:

o Two women appealed to King Solomon, both claiming to be the mother of a newborn. Unable to decide, he ordered the child to be cut in half and divided equally. One woman embraced the idea. He knew immediately that the other woman who begged him to let the other have the child was in fact its mother.

o Rock star David Lee Roth of the Van Halen group has a 53-page list of technical and security requirements. One in the Munchies section specifies "M&Ms (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES)." Immediately upon arrival, he checks the jar. "If he saw brown ones, he knew the promoter hadn't read the rider [to the otherwise standard contract) -- and that 'we had to do a serious line check to make sure that the most important details hadn't been botched either."

o So-called "Nigerian scammers" send millions of email messages each month to millions of people throughout the world. (It's called the "Nigerian scam" because more than half of the messages invoke Nigeria than all of the other emails combined.) I have received 3-5 each week in recent years. The "Beloved friend" message is always illiterate and ludicrous. Stupid, right? Not so fast. According to Levitt and Dubner, the Nigerian scammers know that almost everyone who receives a message will ignore it. But if only one in a hundred recipients provides the requested bank information....

"The ridiculous-sounding Nigerian emails seem to be quite good at getting the scammers' massive garden to weed itself.
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Format: Hardcover
I've read the other 2 freakanomics books, and though this one is just as entertaining I'm not sure it says anything about how to think that you wouldn't pick up from the first and/or second book(s).

It's a very similar format - give us a story about somebody that looked at the world in a slightly different way to solve a long standing problem that others had tried and failed with (or perhaps not even thought about thinking about). This book makes a point of saying "look what they did there", but otherwise it's the same.

That being said, it's still an entertaining and enlightening read, and well worth the short amount of time it takes to get through. If you haven't read the other books though I'd suggest starting with them. They're perhaps a bit more substantial than this one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A short, neat book which seems to be primarily an inspiration piece, but none the worse for that. Although it does have some "case studies" of actual research, all of which are interesting enough, the purpose of the book is to examine how one might bring economics - and robust stat-based psychology - into thinking about problems, and how to think about how to tackle those problems. Two examples will hopefully illuminate what I mean: firstly, the emphasis on re-framing the question to solve the actual problem, where most problems are actually examined through a framework which already presumes that certain types of solutions will be the ones adopted; secondly, a basic guide to incentives, which get you to think about how incentives actually work and how to think about using the incentives to achieve what you actually want them to, whilst avoiding secondary outcomes you don't. And to re-assure (?) you that any incentive system will be gamed to some degree. Hopefully this gives an indication of the sort of thing that the book is aimed at. Other reviewers have remarked that there is a slight "self-help" feel to the book, both in tone and aim - I'd agree with that.
The writing is clear and engaging and avoids off-putting professional jargon. The book is brief enough to attract a very casual reader with some interest in the subject. Recommended.
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