On the heels of their previous two international bestsellers, Freakonomics and Super-Freakonomics, economists Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner are back with a mission. Their new book, Think Like a Freak attempts to teach you to put aside personal bias, society’s conventions, and even morality in an attempt to solve problems in your day to day life. Do they succeed?
To be honest, it’s very difficult to talk about Think Like a Freak without giving away its secret sauce. And that’s probably the best thing about this book. It lays out it’s concepts in an incredibly simple to understand way, through both case studies and timeless examples. Sometimes the problems are seemingly inconsequential — how to eat a ton of hotdogs in a short period of time — but that’s kind of the point.
Freak-thinking is a way of life, whether it’s solving the mysteries of what causes ulcers, or how to potty train your two-year old, thinking like a freak will come into play. By the way, those are both examples from the book.
It’s lifehacking. Or maybe “brainhacking” might be a better term. So if you’re into that kind of thing, get ready to transform your approach to problem solving. Consider this book as a guide to making better solutions to difficult problems.
Win one of 3 copies of Think Like A Freak! We really want to give this book to someone with the potential to truly think like a freak, so here’s a challenge based on a section from within Think Like A Freak. Do well and stand a chance to win a copy of the book.
Imagine that the Philippine team has made it to the World Cup Finals in Brazil. The game is tied at 2-2 and there’s only seconds left in the game. A foul is committed! You, the star striker has been called on by your team and country to make the penalty shot.
As a professional player, your shots fire off your foot at 80mph. This is too fast for even the best goalkeepers in the world to keep up with, so the goalkeeper is essentially going to guess where you are going to shoot the ball and jump in that direction. The goalkeeper knows that if you are right-footed (kick using your right foot), you will tend to shoot to the left corner of the goal. So, if the shooter is right-footed, keepers tend to jump to the left side of the goal 57% of the time and 41% of the time, they leap to the right.
You line up in front of the goalkeeper. You know the stakes. This is the most important shot of your life. Choose where you will shoot that football!
In the comments below, tell us where you would shoot the football and why. Remember to say whether you are right-footed or left-footed. Also, include your EMAIL ADDRESS so we can contact you ASAP for the prize.
Now, there is a right answer. Two winners will be selected randomly from all entries that get the answer correct. However, there’s a third book that we’re going to give away to the comment with the best/most-freak-thinking explanation. So if you want to secure a win, leave a great comment.
Entries will be accepted until 11:59pm on Tuesday (6/3/2014) and winners will be announced on Wednesday (6/4/2014). Check back then to see if you’ve won. Good luck!