Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book Reviews: Gladwell

I read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. While it is a good read I found it rather frustrating. I agree totally with the tone of the Wikipedia article. I guess it is too journalistic and not analytical enough. Sometimes making intuitive judgments is good and sometimes it is not. Some people are born with the abilities to make them and other times they can train to have those abilities. Well, the real world is messy I suppose but Gladwell doesn't make it much more tidy.

Next I tried to read "The Tipping Point". After reading about people who are "Connectors", "Mavens", and "Salesmen" I quickly got bored and gave up on reading. Maybe it is just too culturally specific to the US (where I lived ten years so other non-Americans would be really alienated). Very lengthy examples are Paul Revere, Sesame Street etc. It really didn't seem to be about how small things make a big difference as it is subtitled but about how social networks work. It really wasn't about "tipping points" at all as I would understand the term.

Next I've started Tim Flannery's "The Weather Makers"...


Revanche said...

I've been getting recommendations for Blink for some time now, but I hadn't picked it up yet.

I'm in the middle of Stumbling on Happiness, which is kind of funny, and interesting.

People are too variable, I think, for Gladwell to make them seem less messy.

mOOm said...

I am a social scientist and he's a journalist which is probably why I don't feel so satisfied by it. But it was more interesting than "The Tipping Point" in my opinion.