Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell

This popped up on my radar from several directions at once: Pete, Stephen, and Dad. I wasn’t sure what to make of it but, having been fed a constant stream of media clips (primarily through Stephen and Pete) of Gladwell, I decided to read The Tipping Point first – and loved it!

Thus, with my newly installed MP3-stereo, this was yet another no-brainer to borrow from the library.

I know myself well enough to admit that my tastes are varied and not necessarily highly discerning, nevertheless I was surprised to discover that comments re: Blink were not all rosy. Some people were downright critical of Gladwell and his research. In contrast, I found it tied together very well and thought it to be extremely interesting and thought-provoking.

Gladwell’s look at how we “thin slice” things, how our subconscious intuitive powers analyze and break down perceived data into readable chunks, makes sense of what too often is passed off as either supernatural or a ‘lucky’ guess. And it also serves to bring insight and coherence to things otherwise seen as unmanageable or obvious (for instance, police procedure and why officers should not drive with a partner). Living in Grand Rapids, home of Herman Miller and the Aeron chair, I found his look at its production of special interest.

I guess what I’d say to those familiar with Gladwell, this is yet another great read. To those critical of him, lighten up! It’s not like this is meant to be published in scientific literature. And to those completely unfamiliar with him – give him a chance!

Overall: 10/10

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