Sunday, December 28, 2014

Book Review: Blink

Blink: The Power of Thinking without ThinkingBlink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To understand the significance of this book to me, you would have to know that I highly value my own powers of intuition.  That was not always the case.  After years of accepting the general view that my brother, Paul, was smarter than me I headed off to Ohio State and took some classes in Women's Studies.  That's where I learned about different ways of knowing... and came to understand that Paul's kind of genius was similar to the analytical genius of those who defined genius in the first place.  My kind was different: instinctive, female, other... not as valued, but just as valuable. 

So, then, along comes Malcolm Gladwell with a 254-page disquisition on how it all works.  The good and the bad.  The thoughts that should be honored and the ones that should be reexamined.  The activity of the subconscious mind that both perceives and calculates.  Yikes! 

Gladwell's particular genius is in making difficult subjects accessible and entertaining.  I don't know if he is required reading on college campuses yet or not, but he should be. More and more, we all have to be familiar with his work in order to be culturally literate in America.  Just the other day I heard someone on TV predict that Microsoft will soon learn the lessons of "New Coke" with their Windows 8 product and that they will be issuing an apology -- and "Windows Classic" -- within the year. LOL! Since in all likelihood most of Microsoft's workforce were not even born yet when the New Coke debacle took place, I sure hope their professors made them read Gladwell.  

My two-page summary combines this one with two more of Gladwell's books. Download it for free here,

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