What’s it about?
The previous Freakonomics books were both kind of the same: they told stories of surprising findings about society by looking at a problem differently. The first book was responsible for pointing out that swimming pools were more dangerous than guns, that legalizing abortions in the 1970s lead to a crime drop in the 1990s, and how sumo wrestlers cheat. How to Think Like a Freak sets out to teach you to get at underlying issues in your own life, by asking the right questions, by thinking more creatively, by saying “I don’t know,” by getting rid of preconceptions, and by getting yourself better feedback mechanisms.
Why should you read it?
Well, I don’t know. Maybe you shouldn’t. But for me, it inspired me to change a project that I’ve been working on already, specifically, to take on a series small improvements rather than fix everything all at once. It reinforced the idea that I should be admitting that there are aspects I don’t know about. I have grandiose ideas about how to change things, but grandiose will almost certainly fail. How can I make small changes that will hopefully add up to a larger change? I like that it had an immediate, practical impact on my life. How to Think Like a Freak might do something similar for you.