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Forget statistics. Read it for what it is.,
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This review is from: Outliers: The Story of Success (Hardcover)
I think the goal of this book is to provide readers, especially disadvantaged readers, with new ways of thinking about their own behavior, the world around them, and how they relate to that world. I think that Gladwell's goal is to inspire paradigmatic changes in the way disadvantaged people approach their lives and think about their futures.
For the educationally privileged and those people who are mired to the teeth in statistical jargon and stuff like "psychometrics", "Outliers" will probably irritate them because it doesn't back anything up with huge amounts of reified "data" and it makes metaphorical use of the concept of "outliers" rather than using the term in its most jargon-approved sense. Instead what it does is tell stories. And it connects those stories to observations. In short, it presents a series of case studies in such a way as to let the reader come to some striking conclusions about his or her own standing in the world and what can be done to improve upon it.
Statistics is only science in the fields of science. In sociology, psychology, linguistics, cultural studies, etc, it's a physics-envy pretense, making it every bit as useful as astrology or numerology. So, this book, which completely avoids all the numerological reifications commonly made up using meaningless statistical jargon, actually has something to offer. It presents a case, and does so intelligently in a way that respects the reader's intelligence and powers of comprehension.
This book will mean the most to those who have something to gain in changing the way they think about the world. I think it is for the benefit of these people that Gladwell writes.