Thursday, January 24, 2013


     Everyone kept talking about the ideas in Outliers.  I loved Blink, so I was excited to try another Malcolm Gladwell book, but I didn't really like Outliers very much.
     The ideas are interesting, but are difficult to do anything about them.  For example, without living in China and appreciating the Rice Paddy lifestyle, it is hard to change the format of schools in America - unless you are able to start your own charter school.  If your child is born in the summer, the only option you have to put your child ahead in school is to delay them for a year.  This isn't very helpful advice for parents who have no choice but start their kids in kindergarten at 5; it just gives them guilt about the harm they have inflicted on their child.
     I did like the sections on 10,000 hours of practice being the magic number of hours required to be truly great at something.  In our modern culture, we like to think that we can find shortcuts and easy access to wealth and fame.  This section shows how important the hours of practice behind the scenes really are.
     I also liked the point Malcolm Gladwell made about how individuals do not self create, they have an array of help and support behind the scenes that allowed them to become great.  It reinforces the idea that we are all rely on one another.  By helping one another, all of us can achieve success.

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