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From the rule-breaking authors of international bestsellers Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics, this is the ultimate guide to how to Think Like a Freak The Freakonomics books have come to stand for something: challenging conventional wisdom; using data rather than emotion to answer questions; and learning to unravel the world's secret codes. Now Levitt and Dubner have gathered up what they have learned and turned it into a readable and practical toolkit for thinking differently - thinking, that is, like a Freak. Whether you are interested in the best way to improve your odds in penalty kicks, or in major global reforms, here is a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems. Along the way, you'll learn how the techniques of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion can help you, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they're from Nigeria, and why Van Halen's demanding tour contract banning brown M&Ms was really a safety measure. You'll learn why sometimes it's best to put away your moral compass, and smarter to think like a child. You will be given a master class in incentives-because for better or worse, incentives rule our world. And you will learn to quit before you fail, because you can't solve tomorrow's problem if you aren't willing to abandon today's dud. Levitt and Dubner see the world like no one else. Now you can too. Never before have such iconoclastic thinkers been so revealing - and so much fun to read.
In Cents and Sensibility, an eminent literary critic and a leading economist make the case that the humanities—especially the study of literature—offer economists ways to make their models more realistic, their predictions more accurate, and their policies more effective and just. Arguing that Adam Smith’s heirs include Austen, Chekhov, and Tolstoy as much as Keynes and Friedman, Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro trace the connection between Adam Smith’s great classic, The Wealth of Nations, and his less celebrated book on ethics, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. The authors contend that a few decades later, Jane Austen invented her groundbreaking method of novelistic narration in order to give life to the empathy that Smith believed essential to humanity. More than anyone, the great writers can offer economists something they need—a richer appreciation of behavior, ethics, culture, and narrative. Original, provocative, and inspiring, Cents and Sensibility demonstrates the benefits of a dialogue between economics and the humanities and also shows how looking at real-world problems can revitalize the study of literature itself. Featuring a new preface, this book brings economics back to its place in the human conversation.
Doing Economics offers a clear and accessible guide to the nature of Economics. Unlike many other mainstream disciplines, economics is a subject that many students meet for the first time when they arrive at University to study the subject at degree level. The way economics is studied at university level can vary greatly from economics as represented in the media, but this handy beginner’s guide bridges that gap. This book answers such questions as: What is economics as a subject? What sorts of questions does it address? What skills are needed to become a good economist? Where will it take me? Students will be introduced to the key characters who contributed to the development of economics, as well as to the central ideas and concepts. This definitive guide outlines the attributes that make a good economist and presents a wide variety of employment opportunities that can follow the study of economics. Familiarising students with the important terms and issues, it is an essential volume for all students approaching this fascinating subject.
In an accessible and droll style, best-selling author Joel Best shines a light on how we navigate these anxious, insecure social times. While most of us still strive for the American Dream—to graduate from college, own a home, work toward early retirement—recent generations have been told that the next generation will not be able to achieve these goals, that things are getting—or are on the verge of getting—worse. In American Nightmares, Best addresses the apprehension that we face every day as we are bombarded with threats that the social institutions we count on are imperiled. Our schools are failing to teach our kids. Healthcare may soon be harder to obtain. We can’t bank on our retirement plans. And our homes—still the largest chunk of most people’s net worth—may lose much of their value. Our very way of life is being threatened! Or is it? With a steady voice and keen focus, Best examines how a culture develops fears and fantasies and how these visions are created and recreated in every generation. By dismantling current ideas about the future, collective memory, and sociology’s marginalization in the public square, Best sheds light on how social problems—and our anxiety about them—are socially constructed.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary of the book and NOT the original book. Think Like a Freak: A 30-minute Summary of Steven D. Levitt and Steven J. Dubner's book Inside this Instaread Summary: Overview of the entire book Introduction to the Important people in the book Summary and analysis of all the chapters in the book Key Takeaways of the book A Reader's Perspective Preview of this summary: Chapter 1 After writing Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner were asked many questions about how to deal with a wide variety of problems. Since problem solving is difficult and time-consuming, they decided to write a book to teach thinking skills instead of trying to offer solutions to specific problems. The first important idea to keep in mind is that selfish incentives are not as effective as communal incentives when considering how to solve a problem. Most people tend to put their own interests before the interests of others. This is human nature and often makes it difficult to get several people to move in the same direction towards a specific goal. There is no right or wrong way to think about solving a problem. In the modern world, people must become more productive, creative, and rational in their thinking. The first two books written by Levitt and Dubner were based on a few basic ideas. First, incentives are the foundation of modern life, and figuring them out is the key to understanding and solving any problem. Next, conventional wisdom often turns out to be incorrect and blindly following it can lead to disastrous outcomes. Finally, correlation does not equal causality. In other words, just because two things are identified together does not mean that one causes the other. This book builds on these three basic principles, but is more prescriptive than the previous two titles. The book is inspired by an economic approach relying on data rather than an ideology to understand how the world works, how resources are allocated, and the obstacles that can get in the way of getting resources to those who need them. The good news is that thinking like a freak is so easy that anyone can do it. The question is why so few people actually do it....