Book Review: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

(Actually this is an audio book review but I don’t think that matters). Disclaimer: Blink has nothing to do with .NET or Information Technology in general so if you only read this blog for those subjects you can skip this entry.

For me Blink starts with The Tipping Point, also by Malcolm Gladwell. The Tipping Point is an absolutely fascinating book and was my book of the year for 2006. The Tipping Point is all about what factors affect whether a small idea or product tips over into becoming a national or international phenonenom. Brilliantly told by the author, I cannot praise this book enough. So when I saw Blink and saw that it was also written by Malcolm Gladwell I had to get it.

Blink is about how your sub-conscious brain processes information so much faster and potentially so much more accurately than your conscious brain. The author covers numerous fascinating examples of how people’s brains gather and process information, how the sub-conscious brain can be both more accurate and also less accurate than the conscious brain, what leads you to false conclusions and how you can avoid allowing your sub-conscious brain let you down. Each example is fascinating by itself but the connection of the dots to form the book’s overall message is artful and compelling. The book includes considerable examples of scientific research in many areas. To give you an idea I’ll pick out one example that was particularly interesting to me. Many people are aware of just how much information is conveyed on a person’s face: whether people are sad, angry, happy, morose etc.. Everyone is probably aware that your face simply reflects your feelings. What is just fascinating though is that it works the other way. The expression on your face can affect your mood. If you use the muscles that are used in a frown for long enough you will eventually feel unhappy. The book is full of bits like this.

I have to unreservedly recommend this book. I have a new maxim for life to add to my collection: always read books by Malcolm Gladwell.

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Posted by: Guy Smith-Ferrier
Posted on: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 at 3:40 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous - Other
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Guy Smith-Ferrier

Wednesday, April 04, 2007 4:40 PM


Top tip, mate. Thanks.

Jim Cooper

Wednesday, April 04, 2007 4:40 PM

Jim Cooper

> always read books by Malcolm Gladwell

Not always, Guy! For example, it would be very dangerous to do that whilst driving