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

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
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's review
Apr 19, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, science, neuro-science
Read in April, 2009

I've avoided reading Mr Gladwell before due to various silly reasons - which mostly boil down to me avoid pop science books that talk about the values in gut reaction. However, I've been reading a lot on general marketing, management and brain development of late and I was looking for something related and light. "Blink" perfectly fit the bill.

At heart, this is a book of stories. Within this framework, Mr Gladwell makes some compelling arguments about trusting the unconscious brain's initial read. Further, that when many factors are in play, sometimes it really does make sense to listen to the initial reaction instead of digging deeper into the problem. What makes this compelling is simple - he puts limits on when this works and describes situations where it fails. In fact he goes even farther and talks about how training is needed to fully know that you can trust your instincts. And to know when you can trust them. Indeed when we don't have training he shows how easy it is to "seed" someone so that they are more or less likely to reach certain conclusions (see Kahneman). A similar line of thought is used by Mr Taleb in "Fooled by Randomness" so its very good to see books come together on topics.

For all this, there isn't much depth here so don't come looking for that. Instead focus on enjoying the ride as Mr Gladwell is a first class story teller.

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