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Blink

I just finished Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, a short book on what we can perceive in the blink of an eye. Drawing on many studies and conversations, Gladwell pieces together a positive, highly-readable book that not only explains what our minds can do in a split second, but also how we can go so terribly wrong in that same instant. And then takes us to the next step: how to avoid the dangers and take advantage of the powers we already possess.

That's a tall load for a short book. But I think he's done it. Just as he did it with The Tipping Point, an exploration of what it is that takes a concept that is but a blip on the radar screen and turns it into a deluge. That's oversimplifying, of course. Both books offer a sideways look at a lot of what we already knew or thought we knew and offers up a whole new way of seeing the world and ourselves.

A large part of Blink delves into our prejudices and how they affect our actions and perceptions of others, often unconsciously. It was while I was reading a chapter about appearances that I took a look on the back flap of the book cover to see the face of Malcolm Gladwell himself. He's a funny-looking little guy with an out-of-control afro. I admit that I was thrown by this appearance and wondered if what I was reading was really that good...thus proving a point or two.

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