Monday, May 21, 2007

Blink | Malcolm Gladwell

Blink is one of those novels that has either been classified as brilliance or sheer and utter rubbish. To figure out which category you're going to fall in, has a lot to do with your expectations.

If you expect an 'answer' or something definitive to come out of this novel, you're going to hate it. If you look for holes inside the book, you're going to find them.

These holes exists in some of the ways experiments were conducted, in my opinion. Even if you see these holes and don't agree with his example, you must also look at the point Gladwell is trying to make. He makes some excellent ones. After you notice the point, see if you can apply it to your own situations and see if it makes sense to you - if it sounds right, if it feels right. After all, the book is about making snap judgements.

The one thing I really liked about this book is that it reads like a story. There is a lot of quasi-scientific information in it... which is great for pyschologists, but it is put in a very layman sort of way. It's also important to note that Gladwell writes very unstructured. If you are looking for something akin the the brilliant mathmatical structure of Sun Tzu in "The Art of War", you won't find it.

However, despite some rambling, the points are excellent if not taken at face value. You need to really think about the meaning behind these points and see if it makes sense to you. To me, it did. Gladwell re-inforces a lot of things that I have always thought, and along the way... he has taught me a lot about how certain things in the world work (ie: how a police officer is supposed to approach you when he pulls you over, how concert violinists audition, etc). However, if you think he's going to unlock the secrets of the universe, you're going to be disappointed. But he will make you think twice about your unconscious mind and about the power of intuition.

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