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Introducing 'Freakonomics Experiments'

Freakonomics' Steve Levitt has a novel idea for helping people make tough decisions.

The Freakonomics guys are launching a new website, FreakonomicsExperiments.com, to help people who are having a hard time making a decision. It might be a big, complex decision (Should I quit my job to go back to school? Should I leave my husband?) or it might a simple one (Should I really get a tattoo on my ankle?).

How does Freakonomics help you make this decision? By flipping a coin for you! Seriously. Heads you quit, tails you stay. It’s not quite as simple as that but, as Steve Levitt explains, the goal is to help people make tough decisions -- and, this being Freakonomics, to gather data along the way. The idea is to to learn if perhaps we’d all be better off if we were willing to make big changes in our lives.

Anyone can sign up at FreakonomicsExperiments.com -- “the more, the merrier,” as Levitt says -- and their identity will be anonymized. For more information, read this FAQ.

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I sent my daughter the link to Freakonomics Experiments. I thought she would find it interesting. She sent back a note that, with the link all lower case, she first read it as Freakonomic SEXperiments. Interesting, indeed!

This experiment reminds me of the perceptive Grook by Piet Hein (one of many jewels)

Whenever you're called on to make up your mind.
And you're hampered by not having any.
The simplest way to solve the dilemma you'll find,
Is simply by flipping a penny.

No, not so that chance shall decide the affair;
As you're passively standing there moping.
But as soon as the penny is up in the air,
You'll suddenly know what you're hoping.

--Piet Hein

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