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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell

"Outliers: The story of success" is a book in which, Malcolm Gladwell makes some cogent arguments regarding hard work, being in the right place at the right time with a mixture of environmental determinants that all come together to create for extraordinary individual achievements. However, some of his arguments are less convincing than others.

I suppose it is true that it does in fact, "take a village" in concert with favorable milieu of environmental, social and economic conditions which encourage an individual to thrive.

The book's progression was fluid until the final pages when Gladwell injected his family's personal history and sort of clunked at the end with his closing remark; a self-focused query - arguably a personal representation for his books basic premise.

While Gladwell is no doubt, successful in his own right, to borrow from Lloyd Benson during his vice-presidential debate with Dan Quayle when he quipped, 'You are no John Kennedy [in this case, 'Malcolm Gladwell is no Bill Gates'] - maybe Gladwell was referring to the 10,000 hours??

The book seemed to stop when a certain predetermined number of pages had been written. Thus, its end seemed quick, abrupt and therefore, incomplete.

Considering what I just wrote about Gladwell, you might not think I'd be recommending it, I am. His work is entertaining and thought provoking enough for me that i have already picked up his book, 'The Tipping Point.' Gladwell is a good information gatherer so his work is as much entertaining for me as it is a resource for further examination.

I still maintain that so much is happening in our world that the people who can gather the information, make the appropriate connections and assimilate it all are the people who are indespensable because they are connecting the dots for the rest of us.

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