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Book Freak Issue #89: Think Like a Freak


Book Freak

June 21 · Issue #89 · View online

Short pieces of advice from books

Four pieces of advice from Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Levitt and Dubner offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems, whether your interest lies in minor lifehacks or major global reforms. They 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.

Don’t listen to what people say
“Don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do.”
Find someone to blame
“While one might expect that suicide is highest among people whose lives are the hardest, research by Lester and others suggests the opposite: suicide is more common among people with a higher quality of life. ‘If you’re unhappy and you have something to blame your unhappiness on — if it’s the government, or the economy, or something — then that kind of immunizes you against committing suicide,’ he says. ‘It’s when you have no external cause to blame for your unhappiness that suicide becomes more likely.'”
Persuade with stories
“If you really want to persuade someone who doesn’t wish to be persuaded, you should tell him a story.”
Abandon dud projects
“Resources are not infinite: you cannot solve tomorrow’s problem if you aren’t willing to abandon today’s dud.”
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