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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking Paperback – April 3, 2007
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About the Author
Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1996. He is the host of the podcast Revisionist History and the author of The Tipping Point, Outliers, and What the Dog Saw. Prior to joining The New Yorker, he was a reporter at the Washington Post. Gladwell was born in England and grew up in rural Ontario. He now lives in New York.
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I'm a bottom-line kind of person and I don't read for fun; I read to gain applicable knowledge. Gladwell proved his concept in the first 30-50 pages and that was good enough for me. He then proceeded to continue proving the concept for another 200 pages. I hardly learned how to actually apply the concepts of rapid-cognition from this book and I'm annoyed at how much of my time was wasted. I wish he proved the concept in 30-50 pages and followed it up with actual ways to take advantage of that concept.
This book verified something that I believed to be true (rapid-cognition) without providing ways to practically exploit the theory. I'm not buying anything else of Gladwell's, but I would recommend looking up the sparknotes/summary of this book.
What’s better: long, thought out decisions or quick, snap judgments? We have always been told not to judge a book by its cover, but at times our unconscious conclusions are more accurate. Malcolm Gladwell carefully investigates the power (both good and bad) of quick thinking. This is an extremely interesting book that will challenge the way you think – and don’t think.
What can I say about Malcolm Gladwell that I haven’t said before? He takes the simplest topics, he digs down deep to find amazing complexity, simplifies the finding, all while entertaining us. From the moment I picked up this book, I didn’t want to put it down.
Of course, many times we don’t have a choice. We must make quick decisions without complete information, and under extreme stress. Gladwell gives numerous examples of how snap decisions can often be the best decisions we can make. He also gives a wealth of examples on how they can lead to our doom.
But equally, gathering too much information can foul up decision making. Gladwell gives examples of such occurrences, and also positive examples of fully informed decisions.
So, Gladwell walks the tight rope in Blink. He wants to prove a point: that very often, our first impressions about people, events, ideas, are the correct one. Gathering more information only fouls up that initial, correct assessment. Yet this can go wrong as well, and he gives a wealth examples of how we carry our prejudices with us during our quick, uninformed decisions.
This will leave a casual reader a bit confused about Gladwell’s point, because his point his subtle. Sometimes deliberation is in order; sometimes we must make decisions in the blink of any eye. A great deal depends upon context.