Personal finance public radio host Chris Farrell opens his new personal finance book, "The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More and Live Better," with the bold claim that personal finance conversations are a "head fake." Farrell cites Carnegie Mellon scientist Randy Pausch’s "Last Lecture," delivered while he was dying of pancreatic cancer, for the proposition that this kind of "head fake is when it seems we’re learning one thing, yet we’re actually gaining a different — and far more important — type of knowledge."

Pausch, for example, argued that sending children out to play sports is actually sending them out to learn "teamwork, sportsmanship and perseverance" — life lessons much larger than the rules of any sport.

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