Back in 2010, I was travelling to the USA for my honeymoon and as usual made a stop at the Airport bookstore. I purchased the book Freakonomics (2006). This book was definitely one, which opened my eyes to the world of looking at things differently. Since then the authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have started a movement, including their follow up, Super Freakonomics, TV series and their extremely popular Podcast.
Their third book instalment Think Like a Freak, follows a similar trend to their previous two books. For those of you have already read their first two books you will be familiar with the writing style and the themes present. Looking at situations, which are thought provoking and helps people to understand the idea of thinking like a freak. What is a freak, well judging by the examples that they give, simply it’s taking any given situation and thinking about it differently. With the old saying of thinking outside the square.
One of the major insights I took form the book was a section talking about the hardest things one can say. These simple words are ‘I don’t know’. In essence admitting that you don’t know something can lead to a new learning curve of understanding. But admitting that you don’t know is that first step in understanding and taking control. Laced through out the book are examples of people who they classify as people who think like freaks, but by no means is this a how to guide on thinking like a freak. It is more a guide of how people do think like a freak. Again the best part of this is that the material is presented to you. What you do with it, is up to you.
My favourite story from this book, being Australian, was actually learning the story of the Nobel Prize winners of two Australian physicians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren who in 2005 were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease”. Against all odds and against a heavy weight industry wanting to protect what was worth $8 Billion dollars in preventive measures, they soon found the bacteria (which to some was quite laughable in the community) that attributed to stomach ulcers, dispelling the long thought idea that they were caused by stress and hereditary measures and of course the possibility of a cure.
So if you are person who is stuck in a rut and looking to think differently, this title well definitely help you pave a way at looking at things differently. Asks the questions you need to ask to get to a new level of thought and understanding. As stated it is not a guide but more of a thought provoking exercise, similar to what they have published previously in their other titles. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and for fans of Dubner and Levitt, I don’t think you will be disappointed with this instalment.