Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Think Like a Freak

Some of the steps toward thinking like a Freak:

  • First, put away your moral compass—because it’s hard to see a problem clearly if you’ve already decided what to do about it.
  • Learn to say “I don’t know”—for until you can admit what you don’t yet know, it’s virtually impossible to learn what you need to.
  • Think like a child—because you’ll come up with better ideas and ask better questions.
  • Find the root cause of a problem—because attacking the symptoms, as often happens, rarely fixes the underlying issue.
  • Take a master class in incentives—because for better or worse, incentives rule our world.
  • Learn to persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded—because being right is rarely enough to carry the day.
  • Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting—because you can’t solve tomorrow’s problem if you aren’t willing to abandon today’s dud.

from Think Like a Freak

Consider a problem like suicide. It is so morally fraught that we rarely discuss it in public; it is as if we’ve thrown a black drape over the entire topic. This doesn’t seem to be working out very well. There are about 38,000 suicides a year in the United States, more than twice the number of homicides. Suicide is one of the top ten causes of death for nearly every age group. Because talking about suicide carries such a strong moral taboo, these facts are little known. As of this writing, the U.S. homicide rate is lower than it’s been in fifty years. The rate of traffic fatalities is at a historic low, having fallen by two- thirds since the 1970s. The overall suicide rate, meanwhile, has barely budged� and worse yet, suicide among 15- to 24- year- olds has tripled over the past several decades.

Stephen Dubner & Steven Levitt

1 comment:

  1. No one seems to want to point out diet & nutrition as a major cause of depression, either...
    Nearly everyone in the Seattle area knows that low Vitamin D levels can lead to the "glooms".... Feeling depressed? Take a vitamin D+K pill, eat some cold water fish and/or mushrooms (just the regular variety), or better yet, for an instant high, visit your local tanning beddery. It really does work! If you don't believe me - TRY IT.


You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

Harlan Ellison