A few days ago, Kris worked late and arrived home to see me on the couch reading. Usually, when he comes home, I'm in front of my computer at the dining area table. The computer faces the tall living room windows, so I get lots of light while I'm working. Well, during the day, anyway.
When he arrived home, and saw my reading a book, he exclaimed, "Oh! You're reading again!"
As my pile of books has been increasing, I've been making a concerted effort to read them, instead of the magazines and web articles that I'd been reading as of late. Being so far behind on my book reading, I've just now finishing blink: the power of thinking without thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell. I had bought it very early in the year from Costco, and intended to read it with Mike, Greg, and Raphael for the community site Raphael had built, but, well, didn't.
I didn't like the book. And, I have to say, I'm also disappointed with the book. I'll give it two stars of five (using the kottke.org scale), but one of those is for the notes at the of the book, referring to other studies, papers and sources.
Why so low?
Because I can sum up the book with this sentence: "Hey, some people have intuition, which is basically their brain processing information they aren't aware they're aware of." To which the author says, "And this is really cool, let me give you four different main examples and a bunch more auxilliary examples."
Yes, people process more than they realize they process. And that uneasy feeling in your gut is part of that processing, so listen. Oh, and don't rush into anything, or try to describe why you have these feelings, because that'll mess up the processing. And, oh, yeah, training will help, so put yourself in the stressful situation so that you can deal with it next time.
The organization of the book is also odd. Several times (at least three times) while reading, I had to look at the page numbers to make sure I wasn't reading a section I had already read, ant to make sure there wasn't a mis-print in the book where a section of the book was printed twice (yes, I had books like that). The repetition for effect didn't emphasis the point for me. Instead, it distracted me because the emphasis was duplication.
Now, it's entirely possible that I'm more knowledgable than most people about the topics presented in the book; that by keeping up with various science journals and websites I've been exposed to the content of the book already. But I don't think so. I'm not convinced this is why I believe the book wasn't particularly good.
Here's what I did take away from the book:
- Contempt is the biggest factor in determining marriage success.
- Thinking outside the box makes you an outcast until people realize your brilliance.
- Emotions and opinions can be manipultated by packaging.
- People can be unconsiously primed to behave somewhat in desired ways
- I want to learn more about Paul Van Riper and the Red team
Oh, and the book gave away the ending of the movie Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf for me. Bah.