*David and Goliath*

from Marginal Revolution

Quite possibly it is Gladwell’s best book.  His writing is better yet and also more consistently philosophical.  For all the talk of “cherry picking,” the main thesis is that many qualities which usually appear positive are in fact non-monotonic in value and can sometimes turn negative.  If you consider Gladwell’s specific citations of non-monotonicities to be cherry-picking, you’re not understanding the hypothesis being tested.  Take the book’s central message to be “here’s how to think more deeply about what you are seeing.”  To be sure, this is not a book for econometricians, but it so unambiguously improves the quality of the usual public debates, in addition to entertaining and inspiring and informing us, I am very happy to recommend it to anyone who might be tempted.  It also shows Gladwell’s side as a regional thinker like never before.  And the moral lesson of the work — don’t write people off — is very important indeed and we are far from having fully absorbed it.  The same can be said for the second moral lesson of the book which is don’t overrate your power.

More here.

One Response to *David and Goliath*

  1. Michael W. Alescio March 8, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

    It is funny because the previous article I was reading had to do with the lessening of traffic in bookstores. Which is a shame! However, I then proceeded to talk about my routine in a bookstore. I walk around the bookstore to different genres and read those books. But recently I have been into psychology books. These books to me help strengthen a weakness I have had in baseball.
    For those who do not know, baseball is a very mental game. Obviously you have to be able to throw and hit a baseball, and do them very well. But as you get older, you realize how difficult not only physically, but mentally, playing a game every day is. So recently I have been reading mental tough books. Books like Relentless by Tim S. Grover. My newest purchase was by the great Malcolm Gladwell. Except I did not purchase his new book David and Goliath. I did buy Tipping Point. My roommate has two of his other books, Outliers and Blink. He was the person that highly recommended I read the books by Gladwell. Not only are these books influencing your creativity but Malcolm will change the way you think. Also, the way you perceive and look at things. This is why I brought up the book Relentless.
    This book is written by NBA legend’s trainer. Tim Grover is the trainer of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade. What do they all have in common? For those that do not know basketball, all of these players have multiple championship titles. Tim writes about how these players did not just wake up NBA superstars. He also mentions how no one is going to be the next Michael Jordan, however you and everyone else can think like Michael Jordan. This is how Kobe Bryant learned and became as much of an icon as he is. He also goes into the process of not thinking and just doing. He uses examples like babies growing up, they always get what they want because they are “relentless” until they get their want. Think about it babies cry and cry until you get them their food. They do not stop until it comes to them. In the growing up process society teaches us that this is not ok. But Grover says, when you are playing a sport you need to be this way. You do not stop until you get what you want. You are that crying baby on the field, court or in the job world.
    I find these books really interesting because these are very simple ways to improve your chances of being successful in all aspects of life. It does not just have to be sports. These are also things that anyone can do. I do not need a lot of money to buy a 10-20 dollar book that can give me the knowledge and power that may reposition my life. Or change the way I think about things. So many times people so they keys to success are blank, blank and blank. But you do not have the resources to do blank. Or you may not have the time to do the other blank. Everything Grover and Gladwell write about can be done by anyone. This is why their writings interest me so much, and are so powerful.

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