Book Review: Think Like a Freak


"The modern world demands that we all think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally; that we think from a different angle, with a different set of muscles, with a different set of expectations; that we think with neither fear nor favor, with neither blind optimism nor sour skepticism. That we think like—ahem—a Freak."

Think Like a Freak is the 2014 book from Freakonomics bloggers and podcasters Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. This time around, they focus on capitalizing on their previous works and showing us all how to think a little differently.

I'm a big fan of the Freakonomics podcast, and I wanted to check out some of their writing so this recent work seemed like a great placed to jump in. I appreciated the idea of taking their perspective into action, since a lot of articles and books will simple present a viewpoint and then not give examples of how to put it into action, so I'm glad they took it the next step here.

Topics in the book include incentives, problem solving, metrics, and knowing when to step back when you don't know something. The authors showcase very different perspectives on conventional wisdom, which I think we can all use more of in our lives.

"Solving a problem is hard enough; it gets that much harder if you’ve decided beforehand it can’t be done."

The advice I gleamed after reading the book is be more curious, be less stubborn, and measure success. All of these can be easier said than done but it is crucial to simplifying our complicated world to do our best to do our best to live these values. We can't assume success, assume we know all the answers, and stop asking questions. We'll become stagnant in a world that will quickly leave us behind.

"...the stakes get higher when we routinely pretend to know more than we do."

I encourage you to check out all of the Freakonomics stuff out there. It is great stuff to get outside of the normal framework of how we look at our world. I know you'll get some valuable advice from their work.

Thanks for stopping by!

Klout and the Curious Case of Social Media Engagement



Oh Klout, you fickle tool you, made for measuring one's total influence on social media. I recently discovered you and thought it would be cool to see what my score was. Little did I know I would become overly intrigued by your premise and the value of your numbers.

I have a moderare case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), I'll admit it. This tool doesn't help with my growing overall obsession with connectedness. Now I can see how my engagement score is going up or down based on what I'm putting out there. At best, it is helping me stay faithful to tweeting, posting, and sharing anything and everything I think others will find useful and relevant. At worst, it is making me hyper critical of what I am posting and how often I'm putting out posts, so it may not be all that bad. I just know I get frustrated when my score doesn't go up for weeks at a time. It makes me feel as though I'm doing something "wrong" on social media and I need to do "better". 

My dilemma is if I should be putting a lot of stock into this single number that is supposed to showcase my entire online presence's engagement with my networks. Perhaps I should just take it for what it's worth as a simple tool for a complex aggregation and try to do the best I can with it. 

How do you all feel about Klout? Do you even use it?