Strovek Writes


Friday, May 26, 2017

Book Review: Blink

I just finished reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It introduces the theory of thin slices where attention of details performed within a second or two can tell us a lot.

One of the examples provided in the book involves a marble known as kouros. The problem was first identified by Federico Zeri, an Italian art historian. He could immediately see that the kouros did not look right but was not able to articulate the problem. The next person was Evelyn Harrison, one of the world's foremost experts on Greek sculpture. In both cases, it sounds like intuition. This was confirmed much later that the kouros is fake.

The gift of reading deeply into the narrowest slivers of experience is incredible and is present in many professions. Imagine making quick and accurate decision using this approach and if this is part of what it means to be human, the potential is immense. Our unconscious thought process is more superior when the choices become more complicated (and we have to juggle many variables).

The decisions and conclusions that we make are influenced by words, situations and circumstances we are in when making those decisions.

This is what I took from the book, we can take use blink if we have the following:

  1. Deep knowledge in the topic we are trying to decide on.
  2. We are calm when making the decision (emotions may create false clues or input that affects our decision-making).
  3. Personal prejudice may affect our decision (so we need to take steps to remove it from the decision-making).

The book provides some great ideas and examples of uses as well as failures (and potential causes). It was a bit confusing towards the middle but overall I thought it was a great book.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this.
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