Friday, March 15, 2013

Book Review #14: Blink

I picked up Blink: The power of thinking without thinking (written by Malcolm Gladwell in 2005), four or five years ago, along with The Tipping Point and Outliers by the same author.

I read the Tipping Point shortly after buying the books, and loved it.  I then began reading Blink, and I guess life must have gotten in the way, because when I picked it up again last week the bookmark was still sitting somewhere around the middle of the book.  Seeing as I didn't really remember what the book was about, I decided to start from the beginning, and have enjoyed reading it this past week.

The main premise behind Blink is that some of the best decisions we make in  life, and some of our greatest insights, are those made in split second 'slices' where our conscious mind reacts to a 'signal' from our subconscious.  One example in the book is that of art experts glancing at a sculpture which science has indicated to be an original piece, several hundred years old, and feeling immediate repulsion. Later analysis was able to determine that the piece was only a few decades old.  The experts were not able to state how they knew the piece was fake, only that their first instinct was to feel that there was something wrong.

Gladwell then spends the rest of the book listing off other examples of similar thoughts/judgments, which can seem a bit tedious at times, but still provides considerable food for thought.

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