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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Paperback – January 7, 2002
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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About the Author
Malcolm Gladwell is also the author of the #1 bestselling Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. He was a reporter for the Washington Post from 1987 to 1996, working first as a science writer and then as New York City bureau chief. Since 1996, he has been a staff writer for The New Yorker.
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With a degree in social psychology, I can’t help being excited and impressed by the research contributions of the field. The findings he cites often seem obvious and “of course” once the results are in. And sometimes the results contradict “common sense.” Always they require clever design by those who create the hypotheses and methods of measurement.
But this book does not claim to produce new research. What the author does is present interesting and validated findings in a way that organizes them for potential application to a given range of problems. Readers who want more scientific journal type evidence are free to take the suggestions and create their own statistically designed clever research.
As for me, his suggestions set me to thinking and observing life as it is lived. I will confess, I wish he had been able to identify a numerical
tipping point. It would help me a lot in my efforts to create an epidemic of readers for my latest book. But maybe some of what I’m doing will be helped by thinking along the lines he suggests.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book – a good, thought provoking read.
We live in a pretty complex world. To understand it we need our complex brains to solve complex problems. Things are simply not that simple.
What is the difference between a single person wearing a new style and a fashion trend? What is the difference between a standard children's show and the venerable Sesame Street? The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is the study of epidemics.
Epidemics are paradigm shifting events. Though they change the landscape, epidemics are usually caused by very small, almost imperceptible, circumstances.
According to Gladwell, there are three rules of epidemics. The Law of the Few dictates that it takes only a handful of people - the correct people - to launch an epidemic. The Stickiness Factor focuses on to make a message most effective. And the Power of Context maintains that the conditions need to be right to create that epidemic movement. Malcolm Gladwell spends half the book describing his three rules of epidemics and the other half providing a few case studies.
This book was incredibly interesting and entertaining. The room I read the more I wanted to read. I seriously did not want to put the book down.
This genre of book - social psychology or just pulling back the curtain on life itself - is easily becoming one of my new favorites.
a) Malcolm Gladwell is not a scientist, and he lacks the skepticism which is so mauch an important part of science. He starts with the story of the crime fall in NY that came shortly after the start of the "broken windows" policy. The "fact" that the "broken windows"policy made such a huge change serves him well for his arguments, but there is a problem here. the claim that the "broken windows" policy was the main factor in reducing the crime at that time in NY, is an assumption, and by now we have strong reasons to believe that it played only a mior role in the crime reduction. Other factors such as reduction of lead in fuel have much stronger correlation with the crime reduction, and in many other places, as well, while efforts to replicate the "broken windows" policy elsewhere did not produce the same results. So his first chapter is about a nice but false story that if it was true, was showing an interesting nature of how vast changes in behavior happen.
The second problem, is that the book was written before that Internet became a major player in the field. By now it is problably the most major player, but the book describes how things were before the Internet became a major player. In this sense, the book describes how things were in another era. Things have completely changed since then.
Malcolm Gladwell state that to start an epidemic, Three rules need to apply. the law of the few, where you have connectors, mavens, and Salesmen, the stickiness factor, and power of context. then he goes through them in details with historical events and take us through this fascinating journey.
The book is interesting and challenging. you had to read it more than once to make sense out of it. one thing I love about Malcolm Gladwell is how he supports every argument with evidence and research. one thing I hope to happen is for Malcolm to issue a second version of the book where he analyzes the impact of the social network in making an epidemic.