Jessa's Reviews > Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
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's review
Oct 18, 11

bookshelves: cultural-studies, favorites
Read from October 12 to 18, 2011

Ok, so it's not fiction but it definitely gets your head thinking. I would say this book is part psychology part cultural studies. And it is GENIUS!! Gladwell looks at what he calls splicing where we make decisions and opinions in milliseconds without realizing we are doing it or understanding our thinking. The forward looks at how a museum almost purchased what seemed like a legitimate great find of an ancient piece of artwork. Scientists came in and did studies and it seemed legit. Then some art experts came in and within seconds they thought it was a fraud. They didn't have any explanations just a gut feeling. They ended up being right!

For anyone who has ever seen NCIS, it's the Gibbs' gut feeling syndrome. Something feels hinky and off, well, according to Gladwell, it probably is. We have to learn to trust that gut feeling. Gladwell really takes this cultural study into an interesting dynamic. He examines when our gut feeling is off, he examines how it applies to Asperger Syndrome (a form of autism) where individuals cannot read people. He looks at how researchers can look at a clip of a relationship and determine with 93% accuracy if the relationship will last.

This is some cool shit. He explains why the Amadou Diallo occurs (the case in Brooklyn where officers chased a man and when he went to grab his wallet they shot him dead with 41 shots). This is why the book is important. He examines how when we become so keyed up and anxious (the police officer who first fired on Diallo was relatively green) we cannot get a clear picture, tunnel vision occurs and how it could have been ignored.

I just thin this is a great cultural study and we all could learn a great deal. Plus Gladwell makes sure to keep his examples (one major one for each chapter) are current and relevant. More importantly, he is just an interesting writer. Some of the chapter positions are admittedly jumbled but that is just being nit-picky!

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