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Search tags: Malcolm-Gladwell
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review 2016-11-19 14:57
If you liked "Freakanomics", you'll prob like this
Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell

A very quick-reading exploration of the unexpected causes of socioeconomic success in America. The chapters break down into case studies- quirky but true observations, and plausible (but not rigorously proven) explanations.  Why do an abnormally large fraction of top professional hockey players have birthdays in January?  Why did an abnormally large fraction of Wall Street corporate acquisition lawyers in the 1960's come from Jewish immigrant families with parents or grandparents who worked in the garment industry? What common thread explains the exceptional career trajectories of Bill Joy (the computer wiz who wrote the Java programming language, and founded Sun Microsystems) and the Beatles?  (Hint: it isn't raw talent or luck)


If you like to think about stuff like this, this book will do for a light read. 


Minor complaints: Gladwell (the author) doesn't elaborate much on his methodology, or how he stumbled or otherwise arrived at some of his conclusions. He mentions how some topics came to interest him, but it all sounds like a string of impossible coincidences. There is a looseness here that makes the entire book sound less like a disciplined academic examination of a subject, and more like the off-the-wall random free-associations of a guy who is apparently very well-read and well-informed on a broad array of seemingly-unrelated subjects. 

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review 2016-10-12 09:45
"Outliers", de Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers (Fueras de serie): Por qué unas personas tienen éxito y otras no - Malcolm Gladwell

Interesante libro que explica, o al menos, lo intenta, por qué unas personas tienen éxito (laboral) y otras, no. Según la conclusión a la que llega el autor, todo es consecuencia de mucho trabajo y un poco de suerte (más que suerte, estar en el momento adecuado en el lugar oportuno).

Sí que es curioso el estudio que hace sobre los deportistas (jugadores de hockey sobre hielo, en este caso), y la ventaja competitiva que tienen los nacidos a principios de año respecto del resto. Y tiene razón. Como se agrupa a los niños por año de nacimiento, los nacidos a primeros de año tienen un año más que los nacidos a finales. 

Ese argumento se me puede aplicar a mí perfectamente. Si hubiera nacido en enero en vez de en julio, hubiera destacado mucho más (o, para ser más exactos, hubiera destacado) en la práctica futbolística, y en este momento estaría ocupando el banquillo de cualquier equipo Champions tras una exitosa carrera como futbolista. Mi edad mental seguiría anclada en los 12 años, pero mi cuenta bancaria estaría en los doce dígitos.


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review 2015-12-20 00:00
Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell The best thing about this book is that it illuminates how privilege, dumb luck and other exogenous factors are as much an ingredient to success as is hard work. A bit short on hard research, but still a good read.
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review 2015-11-27 00:00
Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell BLUF: This isn’t a self-help book, it’s an OpEd/Pop Science piece.

“Success is not a random act. It arises out of a predictable and powerful set of circumstances and opportunities …”

Plot: Outliers follows the premise that people only became successful because of the opportunities provided in their life. This includes anything from the time of the year or era they were born to family background to the lucky breaks. While there is a controllable factor in success (practice), Gladwell argues that it must be coupled with other factors in order for success to occur.

My thoughts: After reading this, I’m not really sure why my father recommended this to me to read. I feel like the success of books like Freakonomics has us (my father and I included) excited for any book that explains social science in a readable and entertaining manner. Many readers (ahem.. me) take this information at face value and fail to realize any skews or dissents as they are not discussed. My point: take this with a grain of salt.

While this book’s emphasis is on successful people being formed by group effort, I think it’s unfortunate in the sense that it causes readers to say “Ahh, THIS is why I must not be successful.” Why try to be successful if success is based on factors outside of your control? It’s a demotivator and a concept that can be used to justify one’s lack of effort.

Concepts Discussed: Opining aside, Outliers presents an interesting argument about success. Malcolm Gladwell offers some ideas that seem pretty self explanatory: high general intelligence doesn’t take you far if you don’t have practical intelligence, practice in a trade or skill is necessary for mastery, and culture plays a major part in who we are and how we behave. Other ideas you may be hearing for the first time: how you were raised, arbitrary cutoff dates (schools, sports, etc.), and “what your parents do for a living, and the assumptions that accompany the class your parents belong to” matter.

Summary of Examples: Gladwell discussions include Bill Joy, Bill Gates, The Beatles, Steve Jobs, Chris Langan, Lewis Terman, Oppenheimer, Joe Flow, Alexander Bickle, Maurice and Mort Janklow, Regina and Louis Borgenict, the Howards and Turners, Gert Hofstede, Alan Schoenfield, and himself. Arguments are detailed with the use of sports and school advantages, Jewish immigrants, cultural legacies, rice farmers, and the KIPP Academy along with brief life bios for some of the individuals listed above.

Oh, BTW: When asked, “What do you want people to take away from Outliers?” Gladwell answered “My wish with Outliers is that it makes us understand how much of a group project success is”.
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url 2015-11-08 11:45
Humankind’s best days lie ahead debate with Steve Pinker and Alain De Botton
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined - Steven Pinker
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature - Steven Pinker
The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation - Matt Ridley
On Love - Alain de Botton
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference - Malcolm Gladwell

Great debate.


Steven Pinker is brilliant. 

Matt Ridley is witty.


Alain de Botton and Malcolm Gladwell are both lack of substance when deal with fact, data and science. 


So glad I didn't waste any time reading books from Alain De Botton and Malcolm Gladwell.


The debate is highly entertaining. So, search for it in the link. If it is not link to the right one, search for it. It is worth the time. 


Of course, Steven Pinker side won. 




71% PRO      29% CON


73%PRO       27%CON

Pro wins with 2% vote gain.





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