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4.3 out of 5 stars76
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on August 15, 2010
The entire premise of this book is; if you repeat something a trillion times, the process gets so ingrained in your brain that at a certain point, you no longer have to consciously 'think' in order to make the best decisions. In other words, the best decisions become blink decisions.

Think about that for a minute. Was it really necessary to cite all those studies to prove that point? Like is this such a provocative idea that this book needs to be on the bestseller's list for god knows how long?

Let me share a story with you. I grew up playing NES, SNES, PS, etc. When you play a game for the first time, the controls of the game a unfamiliar, the gameplay is naturally stiff. But soon after you get used to pressing the buttons in such and such combination that will win you the game. Eventually, you get to a point where you no longer have to think about the buttons you press yet you can control the game environment. You get to a point where you can impose your will on the game. For example, timing for the combination moves for Tekken 3 is crucial. Of course at first I had trouble memorizing the buttons as well as timing. But after a while, this no longer becomes a conscious process and I can do the 10-hit King combo moves, throw my enemies around like rag dolls and win at will. Did I need Mr. Let-me-give-you-a-new-way-of-looking-at-the-world Malcolm Gladwell? I figured that out when I was 12.

You get my point. Of course the problem is all of Gladwell's books are this useless. Yet the part of the population that considers themselves 'well-read' can't get enough of him. And that is sadder than the man himself.
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This book is all about how people think. The left side of the brain controls analytical thinking. The right side is used for intuitive thinking. Gladwell attempts to explain, the use of both analytical and intuitive ways of understanding information. The intuitive thought process tends to be at a subconscious level, so it is very difficult to identify. Gladwell lists several stories to help the reader understand how the intuitive mind works. I for one believe, that he has done a great job.
Various professions, require a strong ability in fast gut level thinking. Once a certain level of experience has been acquired, the professional relies on a very quick thought process, to make their decisions. Once again, Gladwell lists several examples to explain this process.
I highly recommend this book. It is fun to read and very informative.
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on January 17, 2010
"Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" - The title had turned me off the book (too cutesy) for a long time, but I was pleasantly surprised once I ventured past the cover. It's basically about intuition/insight/different ways of arriving at conclusions, how it works, when it works, etc. Deals with conscious and unconscious ways of processing info, and how we toggle back and forth between the two. He describes the unconscious as being like a computer hard drive that is able to process much more (and different kinds of) info than our conscious minds can manage. If we try to think or analyze too much, we can actually lose insight. Sometimes less is more.

I would have liked more in-depth/scholarly coverage of the topic(s). Malcolm Gladwell is a journalist with no expertise (other than what his research has provided) in the things he is writing about. I think this lack is evident in the way some areas of the book were covered thinly and others seemed padded. Someone more knowledgeable would have been able to address the topics/areas in a more succinct and equitable manner, making for a more rewarding and seamless reading experience. What Gladwell has accomplished is that he has introduced some interesting and potentially useful concepts to the masses in a simplistic way. He has intrigued me enough to make me want to read more extensively on these topics by other authors. For this alone, I have given the book three stars.

Do I think this book will stand the test of time? - no
Do I think this book is well written? - no
Will I read it again? - no
Am I glad I read it? - yes
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on October 8, 2009
The book as claimed was new. The price was amazing. The only thing was that the white cover was a bit dirty. Also some pages are printed not exactly vertical: no big deal for reading though.

Great book.
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on August 8, 2009
Although the author offers an interesting approach toward making decisions, his continuing use of the same stories over and over again to illustrate his points drove me bonkers. Gladwell could (and should) have written the entire message in half the pages. He still would not have convinced me that his premise was correct, but at least I wouldn't have been bored. After reading The Tipping Point and Outliers, this book was a disappointment in both content and writing style.
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on July 20, 2009
Perhaps I was expecting too much after the rave reviews but I was left hoping to have had a better conclusion or wrap-up to all the interesting information that Gladwell presented.

That said, I would recommend it as an intereting read which provides you with why you should listen to your instinct. Gladwell does well to provide anecdotal evidence of how you may be better off making a decision based on your initial instinctive reaction rather than having volumes of data on which to base your decision.

It has to do with our learned experiences over the course of our lives. The information is stored in our brain and when the need arises, we subconsciously draw on that information to help us immediately assess our situation and thereby decide a course of action- within milliseconds. In fact, such millisecond decisions or assessments prove to be more accurate than basing decisions on detailed scientific data. It has to do with our brain's ability to pick up on minute differences in facial expressions or physical features - the curl of a lip, the angle of a frown line, a person's stance or even a professional's ability to sense that a sculpture is a fake despite scientific evidence to the contrary.

Thus the title of the book "Blink"

In keeping with the title, I think Gladwell could have condensed the material he presented, particularly with the discussion about the various parts of the brain which store various types of information. A diagram would have helped.

Nonetheless, it's worth buying the book because it provides very interesting perspectives on the biases we have embedded in our minds and how these underlying biases influence the decisions we make in our daily lives.

I learned a lot from this book.
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on April 26, 2009
This was a facinating read. This book was a required read for one of my upcoming yoga teacher trainning courses... I must admit that I wondered why at first.....Now I know. It's a must read for everyone. It just makes you think and as the author says "without thinking". Decission making, problem solving...etc..etc..etc...simple and yet so powerful.
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on January 16, 2009
This book says that sometimes people make good decisions, sometimes bad upon first impression. It gives examples. Little attempt is made to show us how to make the good decisions instead of the bad ones. It says that sometimes deliberate choices, sometimes spontaneous choices are better. In other words, it's common sense. I found the subtitle to be misleading. I was expecting more of an explanation exactly just how to use that "power of thinking without thinking".
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on December 19, 2008
I thought that Blink is a very good book, because it makes a simple and interesting point about split-second decisions, and then it blends in appropriate examples and anecdotes well. Gladwell's writing is interesting, he never really strays from his original idea that was presented well in the first few pages, and the book is short enough to hold your attention until the end.

If you are someone like me who often gets bored reading non-fiction books that drag on in various directions, Blink will likely be a refreshing alternative.
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on November 25, 2008
I highly recommend this book. While the topic is quite scientific, the author
has been able to engage the reader easily with compelling, memorable stories. A great eye-opener!
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