Saturday, June 2, 2007

Blink By Malcolm Gladwell

By Malcolm Gladwell

"Blink" as per the Webster's dictionary means ": A reflex that closes and opens the eyes rapidly" It is in what happens in this fleeting glance and a fraction of a second is what this book is all about.

For a moment close your eyes and imagine if you are in an interview, you go in and shake the hands of the interviewers and take your seat with the panel introducing themselves. Have you ever felt the vibe of a positive feeling that this meeting is really going to go well. Or conversely you might have felt Oooopps something is wrong. I have had this happen to me time and again, when I give an interview I am pretty sure in the first few seconds / minutes if I will be called for the next round / further discussions or when I have screwed up I know there is no point following up for feedback. Maybe its some little nuances of their facial expressions / the general tone of questions or something in the general pulse of the conversation.

This book is about all those times when you sub consciously assessed the situation in a very short time , call it gut feel, intuition, thin slicing, or any other fancy names. Blink is filled with anecdotes which are sometimes contradictory but nevertheless making a very good read about the varied applications of the subconscious process that goes on in the back of your mind.

Malcolm Gladwell the author has a really active and an informative website, he is a writer for the Newyorker and his website features all his old articles which has a fair bit of overlap with blink. To get an idea of what to expect in blink read this. Its an experiment conducted on the interview example that I explained earlier. The conclusion being that, the interviewers judge whether to accept or reject the applicant in the first 5 seconds and the rest of the half an hour is just a facade to justify the decision made in their subconscious mind.

Firstly I really appreciate the author for having opened up his blog for discussion on his various writings. He goes to great length to discuss his ideas and counter other opinions on his blog, in fact the comments section of his blog is perhaps one of the most intellectually stimulating conversations I have come across in a long time. Here is a very interesting debate about racism and an example used by Gladwell in his book. Please note that here is an author who takes time out to respond to the comments and discuss an issue till its end. and for me personally, he has taken the time out to respond to my mail as well so again he is as good and responsive as an author can get.

He has received fair bit of criticism and this is one of the most critical reviews Blink has received, though having read the book I don't quite agree with what Judge Posner (the reviewer) has to say, but this review might give you a different perspective of the book. Overall this is a very good read , and I have bought a copy of my own. Copy of the original post here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cool dude. It seems to be interesting book. The best part about your review is the hyperlinks u have made in the blog. How do u make hyperlink to the text in the post?

Funda-mentor said...

yeah... tell us HARI, its really awesome. How can we put hyperlinks. Waise , HARI dost your knowledge about books and the variety of books you have read is mind boggling.. Keep going n making my TO READ BOOK list longer and longer! :)

Hari said...

Guys Hyper links can be mage in the blogger ysyg editor, or say you type your text in word and then paste it here, you can create those by selecting text and pressing ctrl + K

Hari