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Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(2 star). See all 104 reviews
on March 20, 2006
Malcolm Gladwell takes a "gee wiz" approach to the topic of split-second decision making, tossing around research without discrimination or critical analysis, and not following through on the implications of what he's saying.
For example, he starts with an example of an art forgery that the scientific tests missed while several art experts could tell "in a blink" that there was something fishy. Interesting anecdote and let's assume that it's true. Would any one of those art experts advise that scientific testing should no longer be used to detect forgeries? Of course not. Would any of them be able to detect forgeries on a consistent basis by gut reaction? No. Gladwell reads way too much into the anecdote. He also doesn't seem to get the fact that most of his examples of split-second decision making are done by people who are highly trained in the subject. A closer analogy might be learning to play the piano.
A much, much better take on this material (also a more engaging read) is Jay Ingram's "Theatre of the Mind: Raising the Curtain on Consciousness."
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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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