Thursday, October 29, 2009


Blink is the 3rd book I've read that was written by Malcolm Gladwell (The others were Outliers and Tipping Point).

It was another interesting viewpoint on the world by Malcolm. This book talks about how our first impressions can be very powerful. The example that stood out to me was a Greek Statue purchased by the J. Paul Getty museum. It was in incredible shape, so they had scientists examine it and attorneys follow the paper trail to verify its authenticity. When an antiquities expert saw it (unfortunately after it was purchased), he immediately knew it was a fake. He couldn't put his finger on it, he just knew it (and ended up being right).

Blink also presents examples of how this instinct can be clouded. For example, by asking well chosen questions, researchers can change the behavior of their research subjects. My personal example of this was when my tennis partner asked if I breathe in or out when I serve the ball. My next serve was disastrous. The wrong part of my mind was engaged and upset the delicate balance of mind and body.

Now to tie this into politics. Many Americans are having "Blink" like experiences with the changes going on. They know out of control spending can only lead to trouble. We really should be paying attention to these "Blinkers", especially our senior citizens.

Also, politicians and other power brokers know that a careful presentation of their agendas can cloud the "Blink" instincts. The result is that many people are sucked into their propaganda and support their campaigns.

I recommend reading Blink.


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