Monday, 9 February 2009

Book Review: Outliers

Fan of Malcolm Gladwell? Then you may have already realized that Outliers has clearly reached its Tipping Point. Or maybe Malcolm Gladwell has. No offence Mr Gladwell. I do like your writing style. Your ability to be concise makes you truly an extraordinary author. I have been a fan from the start. Blink and The Tipping Point were well written observations of phenomenon that very few can put into words. Outliers, however, is a different story. I think some valid points are made in this book and there are some very interesting displays of trends (good hockey players being born in the beginning of the calendar year for example). As a society, we should spend a lot more time looking at relationships and correlations to further our understanding and development in areas such as education, science and politics. However, what Outliers lacks is a proper conclusion, a way to tie all of these trends/relationships together. This book allows the reader to comprehend why millionaires are millionaires and how many successful people were able to be in the right place at the right time. But hindsight is 20/20, and looking back is a lot easier than looking forward. It gives one hope that they may be the next outlier. False hope. As you will never really know who the outliers of 2008/2009 will be until another author is able to look back at your life and comment on your likelihood to stand out from the crowd. For all I know, maybe we are all outliers in some form or another.

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