The best books are those ones which turn upside down our beliefs, and “Freakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubbner really does it. The journalist and the economist promise to show us the hidden side of everything, and truly follow the motion. From unobvious reason of the decline in criminality levels in the USA in the 1990s to the truth about negotiated matches in sumo, they intervene in all areas and examine the basics. Implicit connections of different events, unpredictable casual-effect relationships, and brilliantly bizarre examples, – reading this books felt more like following the detective story than a sociological or economic research.
“Freakonomics” provides us with a dozen of entertaining stories – it’s so pleasant to surprise your friends or colleagues with original examples during the argument, but also it shows the way of creative thinking. I believe, that anyone, who works in communications industry – no matter you do PR, journalism, advertising or marketing, – has to read this genuine work to widen the horizons. As the person without profound experience in seeking the insights, I enjoyed the cases from the book as good examples of typical human nature behaviors. You can study dozens of scientific articles about psychology and behaviorism or just look through some bright cases, picked by these two curious men, – the effect would be similar, but the second way is much more joyful. How to communicate effectively, how to recognize the lie and what makes people tell lies more or less often, why some people succeed and the others fail, and what differs leaders from dependents, – it’s important to know, and the scientists provide us will this sacred knowledge.
“If you really want to persuade someone who doesn’t wish to be persuaded, you should tell him a story” ― Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubbner, Think Like a Freak
Besides the insights, the series of books provide us with the model for creative thinking – and the third part, “Think like a Freak”, is a kind of textbook with a set of rules and theories to apply for world exploration. Being ‘a freak’ means to think out the box and go further and beyond with risky hypothesis to find out whether our extravagant ideas may be true. However, unlike other creative guides, these books do not aim to teach you how to succeed, they just show us how to be brave enough to explore. My favorite chapter was about giving up: you should be determined in your research, not blind.
“If it takes a lot of courage to admit you don’t know all the answers, just imagine how hard it is to admit you don’t even know the right question” ― Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubbner, Think Like a Freak
It’s not a novel, but not a popular science book either. It’s just the collection of convincing answers to the weirdest questions you can ever have.