Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Tipping Point | Malcolm Gladwell

If you're looking to read real literature, something that seems as if Mother Nature herself had graced plain white pages with the knowledge of the world, you're not going to find it in Malcolm Gladwell's book "The Tipping Point." However, you will find a series of thoughts strung together around a central theme - what makes books, crime, shoes, etc "tip." This is essentially the point where either the mainstream gets ahold of a product and starts to buy it or something either becomes an epidemic (ie: Harry Potter), or regresses from an epidemic (ie: crime in NY).

This book was not as "wow" as the follow-up novel "Blink" by Gladwell, but it did have a certain charm. While I am sure that there are many who think he is uncovering something completely fascinating that has an explanation for how the world works, to me, he just seems to string thoughts together to make an intelligent, but not omnipotent, argument.

That being said, the book has a great flow to it and has everything that I would read it for. My main interest is learning about random subjects that I would otherwise never hear about, and analyzing some of the interesting psychological experiments that Malcolm partially delves into. For those people who have an insane interest in psychology but do not wish to read other 'thicker' psychology texts or articles, this book presents experiments in an easy to read manner. While deductions are harder to make, due to the fact that there is no way this book can do anything but create a synopsis of experiments, it is a very enjoyable way to have a glimpse into topics that might otherwise not be researched.

On the whole, an enjoyable read with ideas that may stick with you; an argument that will do little to sway your thinking on how epidemics tip, but simply provide a framework for looking at how the world sometimes works.

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