Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Book Review

How do people figure things out?  More importantly, how do experts figure things out?  At first I was interested in this book because of the book's topics and information---what the ability of understanding or how expertise works.  Then I applied some of the parameters from the book to my own life and came up with the analogy of comparing my teaching/educational training tothis blink concept.  Here's what I can do---in casual conversation, by physical observation I can tell the approximate educational level and social class level of pretty much anyone.  Some of the tip offs include of course etiquette, shoes they're wearing, how they speak---grammar, syntax, slang, but it also includes more subtle things.  Educated people lie differently than less educated people.  People from different social classes react differently to concepts and ideas.   I hadn't realized how much of a skill I had developed over the years until I read this book.

Malcolm Gladwell looks at a host of occupations in Blink, art dealers and appraisers being the one that stood out to me.  He relays the story of stolen art and the man who was brought in to authenticate forgeries.  This might sound dry and esoteric but Gladwell has an excellent way of bouncing between the history of how one develops such a skill, the mystery and then the detective who is applying this ability to blink, to sum up an understanding in a few seconds and discern the truth.

This and Gladwell's other books give those of us with casual talents, professional talents, insights into how human beings outside of fantastical situations are applying great talents.  Try it out, you might find out some amazing things about yourself.

Thank you,
Kyle Phoenix
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