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February 21, 2005

Everything You Need to Know About "Blink" Boiled Down Into 9 Words.

Snap judgments are valuable. Except when they are not.

Posted by peterme at February 21, 2005 02:36 PM


Since I haven't read "Blink" nor have plans to... is it:

"Snap judgments are valuable. Except when [the judgments] are not." or "Snap judgments are valuable. Except when they are not [valuable]."

Is it just me or are there so many books about the "state of now" that you can't keep up? I've stopped reading them because by the time I get around to it everyone is jumping on a new(er) subject.

Posted by: ak at February 21, 2005 08:23 AM

Did it take you long to come to that conclusion? :-)

Posted by: Paul Morriss at February 21, 2005 08:25 AM

As much as the publication of this book has led to insane levels of Gladwell-worship, I've been pleased to see small snippets of rebellion and backlash: against the book, the author, the writing, etc. For me, it's the reaction to the book, the author, the writing that I uncomfortable with.

Posted by: Steve Portigal at February 21, 2005 09:40 AM

In my prev comment I had used an ellipsis to separate the word backlash and the word against, but the filter rejected it so I replaced it with a colon and all went through. Is that weird or what?

(note I can't say previous because the US and the COMment get flagged)

Posted by: Steve Portigal at February 21, 2005 09:42 AM

Malcom Gladwell is over-rate in my opinion.

Posted by: Jennifer at February 22, 2005 01:47 PM

With both The Tipping Point and Blink, Gladwell has found of way of researching, organizing and repackaging some fairly common knowledge with fresh terminology that seems to carry it a step or two further, but doesn't. He becomes a bright little entertainer but his sociological song and dance doesn't really satisfy the thoughtful element of his audience.

To his credit, his schematic conclusions are undermined by the honesty of his own research and presentation. He doesn't much manipulate his raw data and interview subjects in an attempt to fortify his critical theses and, as a result, they just kind of peter out on the page.

Little Malcom is a bright young lad, but The New Yorker and some fawning commentators are giving him the wrong kind of encouragement.

Posted by: BJMe at February 22, 2005 11:13 PM

Thanks for the pithy abstract, Peter... corroborates what I tentatively came to after investing in reading lengthier masses of text from others.

Posted by: John Dowdell at February 23, 2005 07:00 PM

Ha, what timing. I just saw Gladwell give a talk at Duke. I had low expectations and I was underwhelmed. On the otherhand, my girlfriend decided to buy both of his books. Go figure.

Posted by: justin at February 24, 2005 10:32 PM

Most of the material that went into both books: Blink and The Tipping Point came out of shorter, more focused articles in The New Yorker.

I read all of his articles in The New Yorker before The Tipping Point (you can read them all at and loved them but the book was just okay.

Something about the way he and his editor(s) tried to scale a number of smaller ideas into one big one didn't work for me.

I decided to skip Blink having read the articles that led to it.

Just like Krakauer reached guruhood from Into Thin Air, a great story terribly written, Gladwell somehow tipped his own point as well. Maybe he had it planned that way from the start? A conspiracy at the stuffy old New Yorker...

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