** Think Like a Freak by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner


A very tepid two stars for Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain, which I thought was vastly less entertaining than the older books in the Freakonomics series, I think because of the extreme blandness of the principles around which the anecdotes are organized and that serve as titles for the chapters (sample title: “Think like a child”: revolutionary! not).

With that, I must say I particularly liked the idea of self-weeding, which underlies both the fact that they are still Nigerian email scammers who pointedly say they are from Nigeria and the bizarre Middle Ages custom of ordeal (put your hand in boiling water and if you are not burned, it will mean that God says you are innocent). Now, I just caused you to want to read the book, right?

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