I am a Freak since I remember. As a kid my curiosity and willingness were my advantages in a children's world. School education didn't provide any inspirational content to myself, as well as University. All boring stuff hasn't been used as an outlook to my future lifestyle. Knowledge passed through my inner filter and what was decent has just left in my mind and been used in random projects. The rest of the stuff went to a trash bin (after getting degree of course:) Now I'm a grown man and I can pick whatever I want to boost up my private library full of useful knowledge.
What's the story?
Three years ago I've read a book called: "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything". This was my first steps with two authors of this great publication: Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. Right after this their next book has been published: "Super Freakonomics" which was another ground-breaking study for me. And now: 2014 is a year when another book is ready to feed Your bookshelf named: "Think Like a Freak".
I'm not enthusiastic of economics, capitalism and money itself. This doesn't discourage me against the authors just because they're connected to economic system. The strongest side of Dubner and Levitt's publication is unconventional character helping You to thinking on various matters in opposite way to what You've been taught in school. It's rare to have an authors from financial background talking about lifestyle in a corky way.
9 chapters has been fully packed of stories and anecdotes about how life is different form a freak's point of view. Hundreds of examples, massive amount of details reveals life processes which could be on the first pages of the magazines but honestly they aren't. Authors decided to think like a freak to provide wider picture of how reality works.
During the 80's rock band Van Halen was on the top of the lists. Fame was on a global scale. Worldwide promoters wanted to attract the band to their country to perform one of the greatest rock shows in the 80's. Weeks before concert there was a negotiations process as well as technical terms and conditions were announced. To all promoters the same rider, and the same freaky requirement: in hotel room there must be a bowl full of M&M's but not the brown ones! If I would see this kind of rider back in the 80's I probably might say: "Whaaaat!!??" Is it because of fame or maybe there was a different intention? The answer is not easy and obvious. I won't reveal the end of this story but it's quite decent.
One of my favorite story from this book is the story of Japanese professional hot dog eater Kobayashi who was able to eat 50 hot dogs in less than 12 minutes. He is a great example on how to accomplish almost every competition as a number one - even if it sounds like we are not able to do it. In his episode I love the rule he applied: before he started to digging in hot dogs world he stopped to thinking about recent world record 25 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Then he changed his way of thinking about numbers. Instead asking the same questions like most of competitors probably did ("how to eat more than 25 hot dogs in a 12 minutes period") he asked himself: "How to transform hot dogs from a regular-shaped food into something smaller which might be easily and fast consumed". This simple change made him thinking like a freak and led him to a victory. In "Think like a Freak" there are many great examples like Kobayashi's case.
Not everyone is excited about thinking like a freak. Haters always gonna hate and this is undeniable in modern society era. Let me just quote Bloomberg Businesswek's editor Nick Summers who wrote in his harsh review:
This is how brands end, with the sound of scraping the bottom of a barrel Malcolm Gladwell has already rummaged through. In the book’s last chapter, about the virtues of quitting, Levitt and Dubner wonder if they too should throw in the towel. “After three Freakonomics books, can we possibly have more to say—and will anyone care?” I think they know the answer. Bring me a sword, to cut this series in thirds.
My opinion is far from this. Freakonomics is now a brand which should even more invest in their development. Books, blog, podcasts. Those areas are irrefutable nowadays. I would love to watch video podcasts from Levitt and Dubner (I'm a video editor so this is just my opinion:) I'm very glad to hear from Freakonomics free weekly podcasts treating about social behaviors compared to the economic processes. But I'll have a special post about podcasts from WNYC Radio.
This is more than just a seasonal book and touring from spot to spot signing covers and shaking hands. I treat it like a bonus, gift full of hints connecting economics and creative way of thinking as well as opportunity to get more unique knowledge. I feel what they try to do. More channels for sharing informations hence more conscious audience who want to observe from random perspectives. So freaky authors (Levitt, Dubner) as well as their products like "Think like a Freak" book and radio podcasts are must-have position in my private library and weekly-follow channel in a social media.