Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Malcolm Gladwell – an author, journalist, cultural commentator and intellectual adventurer. Malcolm Gladwell graduated with a degree in history from the University of Toronto. He has been a reporter for the Washington Post, first a science writer and then as New York City bureau chief. His curiosity and breadth of interests are shown in New Yorker, where he was a staff writer. His phenomenal bestseller “The Tipping Point” captured the world’s attention with its theory that a curiously small change can have unforeseen effects.
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In Blink, Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within us. He opens the book with a case on the Getty Kouros, an archaic sculpture that was brought in by an art dealer, asking for a price just under $10 million.
The J. Paul Getty Museum undertook background checks and an Italian art historian – Federico Zeri was the first to point out that something was not correct with the Kouros’ fingernails. Other art historians took a glimpse and sensed intuitive repulsions. In the first two seconds of looking, they were able to understand more about the essence of the status than the team at the Getty was able to understand after 14 months. Blink is a book about those first two seconds.
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The book establishes the belief that how a snap judgement can be far more effective than a cautious decision. He mentions that there is in all of us, a part that is able to observe, analyse, process and relate the huge amounts of information and form conclusions without our knowledge; which if noticed could be used to improve our lives. We have our conscious attitudes. That is what we choose to believe. These are our stated values, which we use to direct our behaviour deliberately. The unconscious brings out the immediate, automatic associations that tumble out before we’ve even had time to think. We don’t deliberately choose our unconscious attitudes. The giant computer that is our unconscious silently crushes all the data it can from the experiences we’ve had, the people we’ve met, the lessons we’ve learnt, the books we’ve read, the movies we’ve seen, and so on, and it forms an opinion.
Blink tells more stories of the unconscious mind and the backstage mental process termed as intuition. Gladwell emphasises on the fact that we are thin-slicing all the time – making rapid judgements about the state, characteristics or details of an individual or situation with minimal information.
As the blurb reads – ‘Trust my snap judgement, buy this book: you’ll be delighted.’
My first impression of Blink was – Work of a Genius!
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