Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Simple Book Review: "Think Like A Freak" (2014) by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Think Like A Freak (2014) by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

I love this book! Really, this book offer to retrain my brain! At the beginning of this book, authors tell us how to take a penalty kick. Facing a penalty, goalkeepers dive to the left 57% of the time, and to the right 41%. Which means they only remain in the centre 2% of the time. Which is why you’re 7% more likely to score by shooting at the centre of the goal than to the corners. Yet, only 17% of penalty kicks aim for the centre. Why? Because “protecting your own reputation by not doing something potentially foolish – you are more likely to kick toward a corner” but if you “trying to win the game for your nation even though you risk looking personally foolish – you will kick toward the centre.” Authors conclude: “Sometimes in life, going straight up the middle is the boldest move of all.” They encourage us to – take risk – and think like a Freak!

This book is based on unconventional analysis and clear data explained in captivating stories such as the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, how Martin Luther affected German economy, Zappo and “The Offer”, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they’re from Nigeria. The topics range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics – all with the goal of retraining our brains.

Here are some of the steps toward thinking like a Freak: #1 Put away your moral compass—because “it’s hard to see a problem clearly if you’ve already decided what to do about it”; #2 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; #3 Think like a child—because you’ll come up with better ideas and ask better questions; #4 Find the root cause of a problem—because attacking the symptoms, as often happens, rarely fixes the underlying issue; #5 Take a master class in incentives—because for better or worse, incentives rule our world; #6 Learn to persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded—because being right is rarely enough to carry the day; and #7 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.”

After finished reading this book, I feel smart – I’m a Freak!

[P.s: If you like Malcolm Gladwell’s books such as The Tipping Point and Blink or Dan Ariely’s books such as Predictably Irrational and The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty or Rolf Dobelli’s The Art of Thinking Clearly – you gonna love this one!]

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