A. J. Jacobs is awesome.
I love the idea of running experiments with my own life — the ‘just for the heck of it’ kind (eg. try something new for 30 days) as well as the more serious kind (quantified self). Experimenting forces you to ‘actively’ engage in an idea rather than just passively contemplate/debate about it, and hence, is the closest to a litmus test for you to test your opinion about something. A. J. Jacobs is probably one of the extreme experimenters and I highly respect him for that – He read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in a quest to become the smartest person in the world, tried being radically honest, lived a biblical lifestyle for an year and also outsourced his life for a while. I love the way he narrates his experiments as well 🙂 I am really tempted to try some of these experiments myself! 🙂