Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Fallacy of Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell

The books main premise is that people can instantly recognize the solutions to problems, and don't need to think about them. I shall not argue from adverse consequences, however appealing it is to besmirch the name of people who suggest that people shouldn't think.

The fallacy, repeated over and over again in the book, is that in each of his examples, the people who aren't thinking are experts in their field. Surely a heart surgeon, plopped in front of an open, bleeding chest, might not need to think about which vessel to clamp down on first to prevent loss of life. You (for my non-thorassic surgeon readers) and I, however, would be lost (as the Marines say) in the sauce.

I can only guess that Malcolm Gladwell didn't think before he wrote this book (and he considered that a good thing).

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