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Hvad hunden så og andre historier

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Hvad er forskellen på en gåde og et mysterium? Hvad er det helt specielle ved ketchup? Hvorfor overdriver vi betydningen af intelligens? Er det bedre at gå i chok end i panik? Og hvad kan pitbulls lære os om kriminalitet? Mød Ron Popeil, verdens bedste sælger, og John Rock, manden der opfandt p-pillen og begik en bitter fejltagelse. I denne samling af historier fortæller M Hvad er forskellen på en gåde og et mysterium? Hvad er det helt specielle ved ketchup? Hvorfor overdriver vi betydningen af intelligens? Er det bedre at gå i chok end i panik? Og hvad kan pitbulls lære os om kriminalitet? Mød Ron Popeil, verdens bedste sælger, og John Rock, manden der opfandt p-pillen og begik en bitter fejltagelse. I denne samling af historier fortæller Malcolm Gladwell om en række ekstraordinære mennesker og leder efter de paradokser og fejlslutninger, som ofte får os til at drage de forkerte konklusioner. "En historie står og falder med dens evne til at engagere dig, få dig til at tænke, give dig et kig ind i et andet menneskes hoved – også selv om du ender med at mene, at det ikke er et sted, du har lyst til at opholde dig," skriver Malcolm Gladwell i bogens forord. "Hvad hunden så" består af 19 moderne eventyr, som gør netop det.

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Hvad er forskellen på en gåde og et mysterium? Hvad er det helt specielle ved ketchup? Hvorfor overdriver vi betydningen af intelligens? Er det bedre at gå i chok end i panik? Og hvad kan pitbulls lære os om kriminalitet? Mød Ron Popeil, verdens bedste sælger, og John Rock, manden der opfandt p-pillen og begik en bitter fejltagelse. I denne samling af historier fortæller M Hvad er forskellen på en gåde og et mysterium? Hvad er det helt specielle ved ketchup? Hvorfor overdriver vi betydningen af intelligens? Er det bedre at gå i chok end i panik? Og hvad kan pitbulls lære os om kriminalitet? Mød Ron Popeil, verdens bedste sælger, og John Rock, manden der opfandt p-pillen og begik en bitter fejltagelse. I denne samling af historier fortæller Malcolm Gladwell om en række ekstraordinære mennesker og leder efter de paradokser og fejlslutninger, som ofte får os til at drage de forkerte konklusioner. "En historie står og falder med dens evne til at engagere dig, få dig til at tænke, give dig et kig ind i et andet menneskes hoved – også selv om du ender med at mene, at det ikke er et sted, du har lyst til at opholde dig," skriver Malcolm Gladwell i bogens forord. "Hvad hunden så" består af 19 moderne eventyr, som gør netop det.

30 review for Hvad hunden så og andre historier

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This is an interesting collection of Malcolm Gladwell's writings that were originally published in The New Yorker. In the preface, Gladwell says this collection includes his favorite articles. I've read most of his books, and What the Dog Saw is a similarly fun mix of popular sociology, psychology, economics, social history and marketing. My favorite articles in the bunch were the ones on Ron Popeil, hair color, Cesar Millan, homelessness, plagiarism, criminal profiling and pit bulls. Gladwell i This is an interesting collection of Malcolm Gladwell's writings that were originally published in The New Yorker. In the preface, Gladwell says this collection includes his favorite articles. I've read most of his books, and What the Dog Saw is a similarly fun mix of popular sociology, psychology, economics, social history and marketing. My favorite articles in the bunch were the ones on Ron Popeil, hair color, Cesar Millan, homelessness, plagiarism, criminal profiling and pit bulls. Gladwell is an engaging writer, and I think this collection works so well because the articles are just the right length. Sometimes his books can drag out a subject too long, but like Goldilocks, this book felt "just right. If you like audiobooks, Gladwell is a good narrator, and these articles are fun to listen to. Highly recommended for Gladwell fans. Opening Passage When I was a small child, I used to sneak into my father's study and leaf through the papers on his desk. He is a mathematician. He wrote on graph paper, in pencil — long rows of neatly written numbers and figures. I would sit on the edge of his chair and look at each page with puzzlement and wonder. It seemed miraculous, first of all, that he got paid for what seemed, at the time, like gibberish. But more important, I couldn't get over the fact that someone whom I loved so dearly did something every day, inside his own head, that I could not begin to understand. This was actually a version of what I would later learn psychologists call the other minds problem. One-year-olds think that if they like Goldfish Crackers, then Mommy and Daddy must like Goldfish Crackers, too: they have not grasped the idea that was is inside their head is different from what is inside everyone else's head. Sooner or later, though, children come to understand that Mommy and Daddy don't necessarily like Goldfish, too, and that moment is one of the great cognitive milestones of human development. Why is a two-year-old so terrible? Because she is systematically testing the fascinating, and, to her, utterly novel notion that something that gives her pleasure might not actually give someone else pleasure — and the truth is that as adults we never lose that fascination. Good Biographical Quote "Growing up, I never wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a lawyer, and then in my last year of college, I decided I wanted to be in advertising. I applied to eighteen advertising agencies in the city of Toronto and received eighteen rejection letters, which I taped in a row on my wall. (I still have them somewhere.) I thought about graduate school, but my grades weren't quote good enough. I applied for a fellowship to go somewhere exotic for a year and was rejected. Writing was the thing I ended up doing by default, for the simple reason that it took me forever to realize that writing could be a job. Jobs were things that were serious and daunting. Writing was fun."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    I’m very fond of Malcolm Gladwell’s writing. It is hard for me to not gush about someone who is living a life I would love to live. I guess I should feel jealous of him, but instead I just feel grateful to know that someone can live that life. And I really love his writing. He is a writer who never leaves his readers behind, who is always beautifully clear and who structures what he has to say in ways that not only compel you to go on reading, but also so he takes you by the hand and makes sure I’m very fond of Malcolm Gladwell’s writing. It is hard for me to not gush about someone who is living a life I would love to live. I guess I should feel jealous of him, but instead I just feel grateful to know that someone can live that life. And I really love his writing. He is a writer who never leaves his readers behind, who is always beautifully clear and who structures what he has to say in ways that not only compel you to go on reading, but also so he takes you by the hand and makes sure you are always alongside him. It is impossible not to feel perfectly safe with Malcolm Gladwell – and given that some of these articles are about killer dogs and mass murderers, feeling safe with the writer seems almost obligatory. I’m not going to talk about the subject matter of any of these articles – I’m assuming that most of you are going to eventually read them anyway, so it feels a bit pointless spoiling things for you. Instead, I would like to look at how he structures his articles and why I find what he does so utterly compelling. If there is a philosopher that I really admire it is Aristotle. I mean, the guy was a genius and dominated Western thought for two thousands years. It is fair to say that for a very, very long time Western thought, as far as it was ‘thought’, was Aristotelian. But I admire Aristotle because he is so different from me, not in the least because I would like to be like him. If there is one thing I truly know about myself it is that I am nothing like Aristotle. You see, Aristotle was the great categoriser. He had a brain that was like a filing cabinet and he could come to something completely new, something no one had ever thought systematically about before and he the remarkable ability to see how to file things away in this totally new subject. He virtually created many of the disciplines we study now, such as physics, biology, metaphysics, logic, poetics, and the list just goes on and on. I need to make that a bit more clear. It wasn’t just that he could come to a subject like poetics and say (this is not a literal quote, though he does say something similar), ‘the major division is between tragedy and comedy – in tragedy a character gets what he deserves, while in comedy a character gets what he thinks he wants’. It was more that he was able to see that the division between tragedy and comedy was a key division. If you were going to talk about drama, Aristotle just knew that you had to virtually start by talking about that division and how a play that was a comedy was different from a play that was a tragedy. He didn't just invent the filing cabinet, he also put the first labels on the files and then put some gobsmacking content in those files as well. Even while dancing around in my most sunny of dispositions I don't for a moment think that I am anything like Aristotle. I really don’t do categories in the way he does. My mind doesn’t quite work that way – just as I don’t paint like Picasso – but I’ll tell you what, I love it when I see it. And what has this got to do with Gladwell and his latest book? Well, the whole way through this book I kept thinking that Gladwell has learnt so much from Aristotle. He has learnt how to play with categories in ways that are pure delight. What he does looks so simple and so obvious - it is really no wonder that people try (and generally fail) to copy it. It takes lots and lots of hard work to make writing look quite this effortless. I cavalierly started off by saying I wouldn’t tell you anything about the articles in this book and now find I have to – such are the meanderings these reviews take me on. In the last chapter of this book there is a long discussion of what is a Pit Bull Terrier and whether it is the dog or the owner that should be put down after an attack (no prize for guessing the answer to that one). Except, Gladwell’s point is that banning a bred of dog is incredibly difficult, as Pit Bull is a category that is imposed on a wide and various group of individual dogs and as a category it struggles to stretch across all of the dogs it seeks to cover. This is because a category is generally selected to identify a problem – but the dogs themselves aren’t actually the problem – it is the (as they say in France) arseholes that own them. That he then used this distinction to talk about the identification of terrorists and why stopping only people who look like Middle Eastern men is a stupid idea almost had me cheering. In another article he deconstructs the category of FBI Criminal Profiler and confounds it with the category of psychic cold-reader – and not in a complimentary way. In yet another chapter he compares our categories of quarterback (someone who involves himself in a kind of game mostly played, from what I can gather, in the US) and teacher. What Gladwell often does is force us to look again at the categories we use to divide up the world and then to see if they really still make any sense. In a way, he is doing the opposite of what Aristotle did. But either way, I think he does it just as beautifully. As a case in point, it may be that my favourite part of this book is where he says at the end of one of his articles that if we are expected to spend so much time outside of the box perhaps we should be getting a new box. You know, watching someone do that to a cliché (particularly one I hate) is just about the most satisfying thing I can think of. But he doesn’t just tear down old and tired metaphors – he also helps to show interesting distinctions between categories we generally think of as being pretty much about the same things. Like the fascinating distinction he draws between a puzzle and a mystery. Do you see what he does? He uses metaphors in the way that they are meant to be used. A metaphor can be used in two ways: either to stop us thinking or to get us to see something almost as if for the first time. Metaphors that stop us thinking are called clichés – let’s list some: to my way of seeing, thinking outside the box, at the end of the day, let’s unpack that, we should populate this data set … I’d better stop or I’ll be making myself sick. Metaphors can do better than that, though. They can also be used to instruct us in things we don’t know anything about and they do that by comparing the new thing to those things we think we already know very well. In this book when Gladwell discusses how he would like to distinguish between a puzzle and a mystery he uses the example of the sorts of questions that might have been asked during cold war spying on Russia (what is the size of the Soviet economy? how many nuclear weapons does China have?) and then that most amusing of games, where in the world is Osama Bin Laden? to show that these are questions that could be answered if only we had enough new data, if we had enough new information. These are puzzles. They are problems that could be solved if we just had a couple of more pieces. A mystery, though, is something quite different. To solve a mystery you don’t need more information – one of the ‘rules’ of mysteries is that you already have all of the information you need. The problem isn’t that you have too little information, it is that you have far too much and that you have no way of grading the information you’ve got into what is important and what is just trivial noise. And right there you see a new distinction open up between categories that allows you to think anew about a range of issues that might not have made a lot of sense before. Gladwell discusses Watergate as a puzzle and Iraq as a mystery. He then has some very interesting things to say about public accounting of private corporations and whether companies providing us with thousands and thousands of pages of information on how they are going is designed to inform or confuse us. And then asks if maybe we need to not look at company accounts as ways of solving puzzles, but rather if we might not be better off approaching interpreting the health of a company more as a mystery. It is possible that this distinction sounds more profound than it really is – I’m quite prepared to admit that – but all the same, I’m not terribly concerned about that. What it does do is to get me to think about that distinction and to wonder about it. He does this over and over again in all of his books. Needless to say, I really like it. I love Gladwell’s stuff. He brings so much joy and so much interest to his articles that it is always a delight to read him.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    In What the Dog Saw, Gladwell offers a treasure chest of gems, each shining brightly on their own. In each essay, Gladwell usually starts with one puzzling situation and then adds information and other narratives to complicate the topic. Then the first situation resurfaces midway and at the conclusion, helping to bring the topic to closure. Most of the time, his underlying thesis runs along the lines of "Wow, things are a lot more complicated or a lot more simple than they seem." He's obsessed w In What the Dog Saw, Gladwell offers a treasure chest of gems, each shining brightly on their own. In each essay, Gladwell usually starts with one puzzling situation and then adds information and other narratives to complicate the topic. Then the first situation resurfaces midway and at the conclusion, helping to bring the topic to closure. Most of the time, his underlying thesis runs along the lines of "Wow, things are a lot more complicated or a lot more simple than they seem." He's obsessed with patterns -- finding them when they are invisible; complicating them if they are widely accepted. I've been reading all of Gladwell's books, mainly because he comes up in conversation so often. I wanted to weigh in. This book is his fourth published, but it contains essays published before he started doing book-length works. As I said in a review of one of his books, I feel as though his book chapters could be shuffled because he struggles to impose an overarching structure. This collection of essays showcases him in his element; gone is the awkwardness that I find in his book-length works. I read all his works in a large part to answer this question: "Why is Gladwell so popular?" Gladwell's writing is tied to a specific moment in time. He's responding to the challenges of the information age--a moment in time where people walk around with hand-held computers and constantly face the task of making judgements about what information is important and what is trivial. He's talking to readers who are drowning in data coming in tidal waves off various screens. Gladwell is throwing them a line. "Here, hold on to this truism, this observation, this law of human behavior. Stick with me, and you'll keep your head above water." At first glance Gladwell seems to only offer comfort by pointing out patterns amid seeming chaos. Not so. He most often cautions against imposing patterns where none exist. Gladwell uses examples here and in his book-length works of inaccurate patterns imposed in fields as diverse as these: a) military intelligence b) stock market analysis c) criminal profiling d) cancer detection, e) nuclear power plants, f) animal control, and g) the staffing decisions for filling corporate positions, political seats, orchestra musician positions and football teams. I suspect that he sells a lot of books to people who are hoping to impose order on things, people and ideas. He's very popular with the business set. But if you pay closer attention, Gladwell makes quiet concessions that despite all this will to order, we are defeated by chaos, whimsy, serendipity, folly, and gremlins. (OK, he didn't list gremlins directly.) I don't think he's telling us to abandon the drive to predict and control, but he's certainly pointing out the hubris in believing that we can do so. Consequently, I will now file something with a little fear and trembling. But before I do, here are some specifics, motivated by my will to order the details of his book. "The Pitchman" describes the charismatic Ron Popeil, inventor and demonstrator of the Veg-o-Matic. Gladwell describes this amazing pitchman and others of his ilk, contrasting them with actors and ending with the syngergy created when Popeil's methods met live television. "The Ketchup Coundrum" describes how various foods are developed, tested and marketed, but the central example explains why ketchup sells for staying focused whereas mustard and spaghetti sauce have diversified. "Blowing Up" contrasts two methods of investing on Wall Street--finding patterns and banking on chaos. "True Colors" draws the curtain back from the marketing strategies for hair coloring, revealing something about the mind of American women and how the women's movement made ripples through this market. "John's Rock Error" explains the rationale of the Pill's inventor as he worked to resolve the science of birth control with his faith as a practicing Catholic. "What the Dog Saw" describes how dogs are highly sensitive to the body language of humans, which explains why Ceasar Milan focuses on training owners as a way to better train dogs. "Open Secrets" retraces the signs of Enron's risky practices and explains why people didn't see what became so apparent after its fall. "Million Dollar Murray" provides shocking data on how the current policies on homelessness actually costs society a great deal of money. "The Picture Problem" presents the complexities of properly reading mammographies, making screening for this type of cancer particularly challenging. "Something Borrowed" discusses the gray areas in intellectual property and Gladwell's own experience of having his words sampled (without credit) into another person's work. "Connecting the Dots" bears some similarity to the pattern problems discussed in the Enron article and the mammography article in its discussion of how challenging it is to predict acts of war and terrorism--not because of lack of information but because of an overabundance of it. "Blowup" again talks about the issue of information overload, this time in the safety procedures put in place in the space program. Even though the O-rings were viewed as a trouble spot for any space flight, the risk-benefit analysis employed allowed the Challenger to launch, which resulted in tragedy. "Late Bloomers" contrasts two forms of genius: the young, experimental types vs. the older, practice-makes-perfect type. The examples of Picasso vs. Cezzanne crystalize his theory, but this essay contains more examples for good measure. "Most Likely to Succeed" describes the challenge talent scouts have in predicting an athlete's performance in the NFL based on his performance in college football. It turns out that the two games are vastly different, requiring a different set of skills for success. "Dangerous Minds" compares the work of criminal profilers to the work of psychologists, detectives, psychics and other who seek to find a connection between crime and criminal. "The Talent Myth" suggests that the value placed on talent has set up some companies and sports teams to overlook other important aspects of their "players." Gladwell examines the corporate culture of a handful of companies, such as Enron, Proctor & Gamble, and Southwest--each time looking at how the leaders evaluate performance, personality and group dynamics. "The New-Boy Network" hones in on the job interview as an information-gathering task. He surveys psychologists, human resource directors, job applicants and bosses in an effort to describe the dynamics of the interview. "Troublemakers" examines the stereotypes about dangerous dog breeds and the statistics for fatal bites. As he did in the title essay about Milan's work with dogs, Gladwell moves his gaze from examining the dog to examining the environment fostered by the dog's owner to ask whether or not banning particular breeds really serves as the best response to the problem of dangerous breeds.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    "One day, I'll find a lively, out-of-context anecdote that superficially explains why Malcolm Gladwell bugs me. Until then? I guess he wins." — Merlin Mann - - - What The Dog Saw is a series of catchy social-science essays by Malcom Gladwell, best known for his long-form books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. The book's essays are culled from a decade worth of his writing in The New Yorker. I'm on the fence about Malcolm Gladwell. On one hand, his books are thought-provoking and enjoyable. O "One day, I'll find a lively, out-of-context anecdote that superficially explains why Malcolm Gladwell bugs me. Until then? I guess he wins." — Merlin Mann - - - What The Dog Saw is a series of catchy social-science essays by Malcom Gladwell, best known for his long-form books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. The book's essays are culled from a decade worth of his writing in The New Yorker. I'm on the fence about Malcolm Gladwell. On one hand, his books are thought-provoking and enjoyable. On the other hand, they dabble excessively in storytelling-presented-as-fact. Compared to his books, these 20-30 page essays further soften Gladwell's soft-science approach by simultaneously making his points less pointed and his subject more broad. The essays occasionally felt sprawling and fact-free, bundling casual observations into a scientific-seeming hypothesis. With that said, there were a handful of essays here which were truly outstanding. While interesting, I took these essays with a big grain of salt and just enjoyed them for enjoyment's sake. If you're new to Gladwell, I'd start with one of his books instead.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    Probably the best Malcolm Gladwell book that I've read, and I've read them all.

  6. 4 out of 5

    S.Baqer Al-Meshqab

    This could be my least favorite book for Gladwell. In my opinion, it is usually hard to construct a book that is likeable enough, out of a collection of articles or blogs. I honestly didn't expect too much out of it. However, being my least favorite doesn't make it bad. It is actually good, real good. For a book that compiles several titles, Galdwell did a good job in explaining each idea and support it with social experiments and Statistics. I can't say that I liked EVERY article, because I didn This could be my least favorite book for Gladwell. In my opinion, it is usually hard to construct a book that is likeable enough, out of a collection of articles or blogs. I honestly didn't expect too much out of it. However, being my least favorite doesn't make it bad. It is actually good, real good. For a book that compiles several titles, Galdwell did a good job in explaining each idea and support it with social experiments and Statistics. I can't say that I liked EVERY article, because I didn't. However there were many which piqued my interest. In What The Dog Saw, for example, Malcom categorizes failure into : Panicking and Choking. He states that at time of possible failure, a human could fall into either Thinking too much, or Not Thinking at all. Depending on the situation, panicking or choking could lead to either saving that person, or rushing him to his death. Another example is the effect of plagiarism should pose on someone life. He tells the story of a psychologist invested in studying serial killers who got her book stolen to every last word and turned into a play. Was this thing too bad? Did it have a good impact on the Society? and my most favorite topic is certainly the last one in the book. The fate of all Pitballs were determined because of an accident in which 3 small dogs attacked a child, and the state decided that no one could own a pitball. Poor dogs. Malcom ensures that the cause incident is more complex that one may think. Banning one species will certainly not gonna solve the problem, and in his book, he shall tell you why. What The Dog Saw is a great attempt in a creating a collection of quite interesting stories which tackles a lot of topics at the heart of Sociology, Economy, and Psychology.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Not my typical reading fare - you can tell by the dearth of nonfiction on my Goodreads shelf and the time it took me to read this. What the Dog Saw is divided into three sections: Part 1 - Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius, Part 2 - Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses, and Part 3 - Personality, Character, and Intelligence. I didn't enjoy Part 1 as much as 2 or 3 because I could not connect with the anecdotes or the characters within each short story. They weren't actual f Not my typical reading fare - you can tell by the dearth of nonfiction on my Goodreads shelf and the time it took me to read this. What the Dog Saw is divided into three sections: Part 1 - Obsessives, Pioneers, and Other Varieties of Minor Genius, Part 2 - Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses, and Part 3 - Personality, Character, and Intelligence. I didn't enjoy Part 1 as much as 2 or 3 because I could not connect with the anecdotes or the characters within each short story. They weren't actual fiction stories but little narratives of real events that happened - I suppose the fact that I read this portion of the book in a similar way to fiction showcases Malcolm Gladwell's storytelling talent. Part 2 was where I started to get hooked. My two favorite stories were Something Borrowed and The Art of Failure. Something Borrowed questioned plagiarism and how society perceives it today as opposed to in the past. The Art of Failure began with describing a tennis match and transitioned into the difference between choking and panicking. I loved every story of Part 3 - I read the entire section in a day. Gladwell writes about aspects of contemporary society with a fine felicity. This part of the book made buying it worth the money. What the Dog Saw is an extraordinary collection of essays that are written with intelligence and precision. The research Malcolm Gladwell must have put into each of these stories amazes me - now I want to reread some of his previously published works. Want to read more of my writing? Follow me here.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tania Lukinyuk

    I finally-finally finished it! But not because it is boring - it is collection of articles by Gladwell, so it does not go down like one single book. All articles clearly demonstrate inquisitive mind and quick wit of Gladwell, but not all of them are of equal interest and thrill. Some articles feel like they are concocted out of thin air, some are too plain and unexcited. But I was fascinated by the stories of colorant revolution in the US, value of talent and specifics of human perceptions at jo I finally-finally finished it! But not because it is boring - it is collection of articles by Gladwell, so it does not go down like one single book. All articles clearly demonstrate inquisitive mind and quick wit of Gladwell, but not all of them are of equal interest and thrill. Some articles feel like they are concocted out of thin air, some are too plain and unexcited. But I was fascinated by the stories of colorant revolution in the US, value of talent and specifics of human perceptions at job interviews.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A little background: I really love Malcolm Gladwell. I was first introduced to him through my Persuasion class I took while studying abroad last summer. We had to read Blink, his first published book; it was one of the most interesting books I have ever read for a class. He is no stranger to writing, though. His full-time occupation is as a journalist for the New Yorker. Why is he so amazing, might you ask? I'll tell you. Malcolm Gladwell has this amazing ability in his writing to find things tha A little background: I really love Malcolm Gladwell. I was first introduced to him through my Persuasion class I took while studying abroad last summer. We had to read Blink, his first published book; it was one of the most interesting books I have ever read for a class. He is no stranger to writing, though. His full-time occupation is as a journalist for the New Yorker. Why is he so amazing, might you ask? I'll tell you. Malcolm Gladwell has this amazing ability in his writing to find things that are seemingly unrelated ideas and anecdotes, and relate them to each other in radical ways. What the Dog Saw is different than his previous books, in that it is a compilation of articles he has written for the New Yorker, organized around a cohesive idea: people who try to understand other people. Here's a short summary of each chapter/article: 1) The Pitchmen. This article talks about the original family of pitchmen (like Billy Mays). Basically the Popeil family is reallyl inventive and can sell people boxes of crap because they're so good at their job (... not that they would ever sell you a crappy product). Not only are they excellent pitchmen, but they would spend countless hours in the workshop. One of their inventions, the kitchen rotisserie, had over 200 patents on it alone. 2) The Ketchup Conundrum. Why is it that there are dozens of kinds of mustard but only one kind of ketchup? Well it turns out there are a lot of reasons. For example, did you know that there are five kinds of taste? Sweet, Salty, Sour, Bitter, and Umami. Umami is a more recent discovery, as it's much harder to place than the first four kinds of taste. It comes from protein and amino acids (so it's prevelant in foods like chicken noodle soup and seaweed). Ketchup is a rare food that has all five tastes in one and is all perfectly blended so you're not left with the aftertaste of one over another. A lot of other reasons, too. Who knew ketchup was so fascinating! 3) Blowing Up. I'm a little fuzzy on the details of this chapter because it talked about investments and other stuff that my knowledge is sketchy on. It was still really interesting, though. Basically it talks about this guy, Nassim Taleb, takes a completely different approach to investments than anybody else. His way is harder for people to accept, because it can lead to losing small amounts of money over a long period of time with no risk of losing big time, rather than the current way which is to take a huge risk that can either pay off big or leave you completely destitute. 4) True Colors. The history of hair dye. The story of a beauty product that ended up being deeply connected to women and their changing identities through the fifties and sixties. The way in which they were advertised by two women prominent in the advertising industry mirrored the way women felt about themselves and what dying their hair meant to them and the role they played in society. 5) John Rock's Error. One of my favorite pieces, this article talks about the history of birth control. So much info here, about the relevance of Catholicism to the method of the pill, how women's menstraul cycles have changed with modern times and technology, and the medical benefits of birth control (being on the pill lowers your risk of ovarian cancer -- crazy!) 6) What the Dog Saw. This article is about Millan the Dog Whisperer, how he came to his job, how he works with dogs, and with people, and the body gestures and signals that we process subconsciously that leads to his success. 7) Open Secrets. Enron, the huge scandal of the 90's, was actually not as secretive as firsts accused. Rather, it shows the problem of too much information, rather than not enough. Enron did not hide anything so much as they did not explain how their business worked in a way that was understood by the majority of people (including most of the people on their executive board). 8) Million-Dollar Murray. Homelessness is actually cheaper to solve by giving them paid-for apartments and individual service than things like homeless shelters and soup kitchens. In general, the majority of homeless people are not homeless for long; it is only a few people that are costing the big bucks, the chronically homeless. Fix them, and you fix the bulk of the problem. 9) The Picture Problem. Another fascinating article for women. In overview, reading and interpreting mammograms correctly is a much sketchier process than we might realize. He relates it, quite well, to the problem the military has with correclty interpreting infrared pictures of possible terrorist targets. 10) Something Borrowed. Should plagiarism in writing be that big of a deal? He has a personal anecdote here of a woman who wrote a play that became very famous, but was quickly pulled after she was accused by a woman of having her life story blatantly used as the plot of the main character, based off an article that Malcolm Gladwell had written about her. While the woman had a legitimate complaint, Gladwell muses about the morality of plagiarism, and the idea that all art and creativity is based off something else, which makes a very fine line. 11) Connecting the Dots. Was the terrorist of 9/11 really preventable? The previous chapter on Enron touches on the fact of too much information can be worse than too little, and that same argument is made here. American intelligence agencies had so much information, so many "tips", that it became very difficult to separate the fact from the fiction. It's not about having the information, but being able to connect the dots between what is already there. 12) The Art of Failure. What is the difference between "choking" and "panicking"? Turns out, quite a lot. Both create separate physical reactions and come from different places. Here Gladwell goes into the plane crash of the Kennedy son, what he was experiencing at the time, and why it happened. 13) Blowup. Who is to blame for the explosion of NASA's Challenger? Human nature wants to say that something can definitely be fixed, or somebody was definitely to blame, for an accident of that magnitude. But in reality, it wasn't one big blunder as much as a lot of little calculations, that individually are not considered critical, but all culminated at once to produce a disaster; and really, there's no way to prevent against that. 14) Late Bloomers. Why is it that we only call people "geniuses" if they come to fruition when they're young? Aren't old geniuses possible? Turns out, we have another term for them, "masters", and the approach of the two are completely different, but equally interesting. 15) Most Likely to Succeed. How do you hire someone if you don't know who qualifies for the job? Gladwell uses two examples here, quarterbacks who transition from college to pro, and financial advisors, to culminate into the idea that the system for hiring public school teachers is in need of a drastic reformation. All three of these areas are jobs where it is impossible to tell who is good at it until they are actually immersed in the program. 16) Dangerous Minds. Criminal profiling, at it's surface, seems an amazing ability of psychologists to get at the heart of a person based of superficial facts of a crime scene. However, it may be more of a hoax than originally thought, and not really that helpful in catching the bad guy. 17) The Talent Myth. Are smart people overrated? Enron comes into play again, as they had a different outlook on how people were promoted and rewarded in their company. If you were smart, if you had "talent", you got what you wanted and were given enormous responsibility, whether or not you were really qualified for the task. And... it may have blown up in their face. 18) The New-Boy Network. If you think about it, hiring somebody based off a piece of paper and spending at most an hour with them in an interview seems extremely superficial and basic. So why is it that we make such a big decision based off that? Again, more subconscious work at play here. 19) Troublemakers. One of the saddest articles, I think. Pit bulls are unfairly stereotyped in several countries, and in many states in the U.S. Banned as viscious and human aggressive dogs, the truth points more toward the owners of the dogs and the lifestyle the dog is brought up in.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    Each of the articles first appeared in The New Yorker and was handpicked by Gladwell to show us the world through the eyes of various people and even a dog. The book is divided in 3 parts: Obsessives, Pioneers, and other varieties of Minor Genius, Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses and Personality, Character, and Intelligence.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cortney

    I know, I know. Malcolm Gladwell brings out extremes in readers. In one camp, you have rabid fans who think he is a transcendent genius, who will change previously held beliefs on the strength of one carefully crafted and engaging TED talk. On the other, you have cynics who sneer at the lemmings who behave as I previously described and dismiss him as a pop psychologist. Ok, perhaps that was even more extreme in my description, but the point is I'm in the middle. If one thinks of him as a philoso I know, I know. Malcolm Gladwell brings out extremes in readers. In one camp, you have rabid fans who think he is a transcendent genius, who will change previously held beliefs on the strength of one carefully crafted and engaging TED talk. On the other, you have cynics who sneer at the lemmings who behave as I previously described and dismiss him as a pop psychologist. Ok, perhaps that was even more extreme in my description, but the point is I'm in the middle. If one thinks of him as a philosopher type writer, who surveys the cultural landscape and synthesizes media into strangely compelling and interesting books and articles, I think it's far easier to just enjoy him, without having to laugh in one's sleeve at an over simplification, or get all starry eyed at an idea he is presenting. "What the Dog Saw" is a great compilation of a series of articles, broken down into three main sections based around certain themes. I really enjoyed this book, even though at times it seems he goes out of his way to pick the most disparate topics, compare them, and then make some far fetched and often counter intuitive conclusion- my partner and I joked that he is so contrary, one often just has to think of the commonly held idea around a subject, think of the total opposite, and one can safely bet Gladwell will set up camp around the latter. But again, if one takes him as a pondering philosopher, instead of a last word, infallible source, he is a great resource for sparking new thoughts on old ideas, and for re-examining long held beliefs. My favorite chapters were on homelessness in Denver, and plagiarism. I like that Gladwell seems to be a big, curious kid, willing to do research on random topics and hang out with weird (a compliment) people and write from a different point of view.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Loy Machedo

    After being rejected by more than a dozen advertising agencies, Malcolm Gladwell went from obscurity to literary reverence. I mean the guy can write. Not just write but write about stuff we take so for granted and wish we had asked the same questions he asks. One of the most imaginative non-fiction writers of our times, a man who not has had 3 best sellers and a title to die for (being judged as the Time magazine’s 100 most influential people) – his strength is his innate ability to make his read After being rejected by more than a dozen advertising agencies, Malcolm Gladwell went from obscurity to literary reverence. I mean the guy can write. Not just write but write about stuff we take so for granted and wish we had asked the same questions he asks. One of the most imaginative non-fiction writers of our times, a man who not has had 3 best sellers and a title to die for (being judged as the Time magazine’s 100 most influential people) – his strength is his innate ability to make his readers think and think really deep. Gladwell’s latest concoction of articles that he mixed into this recipe titled ‘What the dog saw’ is not just another master-piece in itself, it boarder lines between absolute genius to total unwanted and unnecessary banal details of generalized points of view, leaving you with many more questions than you would hope for. I mean the guy is great in his observations but then again you would ask yourself, do you really want to know all what he has spend time researching on or is it better to just know a few bits and forget the rest? I think that is a question you would have to ask yourself. So what do we have in this brilliant bible of articles? Here are a few thoughts.. Have you ever wondered why there is only one kind of ketchup but so many kinds of mustards? What made the Veg-O-Matic so successful and why? Cesar Millan, the American "Dog Whisperer" – How did he manage to tame any ferocious wild dog by just ‘whispering’ to the dog…Or rather…what did the dog see that the dog choose to listen to an unknown human being? All this and much more with the shards of Nassim Taleb (author of the best seller ‘Black Swan’ and ‘Fooled by Randomness’) to where Led Zeppelin got his magic note in ‘Whole Lotta Love’, to the toxic historical disasters of Enron, the envious success of George Soros and Warren Buffet and finally to why it is a venial sin to prognosticate either breeds of dogs, serial killers or for that matter successful corporate honchos. The book is filled with all these brilliant findings that make you think and at times give you an awful headache as to how much there is to know. But you have to admit – the indefatigably curious journalist and writer whose brand today is defined in terms of ‘counter intuitive findings from little known experts’, I have to admit, I love reading his work. The only criticism Malcolm Gladwell can face is being categorized as an eccentric essayist and a dilettante who postulates inconspicuous statistical data spiced up with misleading definitions and magnifies it to sound very credible and convincing yet banal, boring and bluntly ineffective. I would only tell those critics – Shut up dude. I honestly didn’t understand what you said. But I did understand what Malcolm is trying to say (though deep down I still wonder if I did…) All in all, brilliant read and a worth while addition to your collection of books though many a times, it can be boring having stacked up with excessive information which you may not want to know about. Overall rating – 6 out of 10.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    This is a series of essays, non-fiction. They were very smart and interesting. 1.) The Pitchman is a about a salesman. 2.) The Ketchup Conundrum is about how tastes are developed and how people deal with challenges to that developed taste. 3.) Blowing Up is about investment strategy, it's kind of boring. 4.) True Colors. This is about hair dye and advertising. I liked it. 5.) John Rock's Error. This was about birth control. He raises some interesting points, but I don't know if I agree with all This is a series of essays, non-fiction. They were very smart and interesting. 1.) The Pitchman is a about a salesman. 2.) The Ketchup Conundrum is about how tastes are developed and how people deal with challenges to that developed taste. 3.) Blowing Up is about investment strategy, it's kind of boring. 4.) True Colors. This is about hair dye and advertising. I liked it. 5.) John Rock's Error. This was about birth control. He raises some interesting points, but I don't know if I agree with all of them. 6.) What the Dog Saw. An article about Cesar Millan, the dog trainer. I really liked this article, even though it was less about training dogs and more about whether Millan knows some secret body-language. 7.) Open Secrets. An article about Entron. 8.) Million-Dollar Murray. An article about homelessness. 9.) The Picture Problem. About the limits of pictures, as tied to mammograms and satellite. Very interesting, and he brings up some good points about pictures. 10.) Something Borrowed. An article about plagiarism. He makes some very good and interesting points. 11.) Connecting the Dots. An article about national intelligence. He makes very good points. 12.) The Art of Failure. An article about the differences between choking and panicking. Very interesting. 13.) Blowup. An article about the Challenger, and NASA, and space missions failing. 14.) Late Bloomers. An interesting article on people who come into their talent later in life, and about sponsorship. 15.) Most Likely to Succeed. An interesting article about talent. 16.) Dangerous Minds. An interesting article about profiling. 17.) The Talent Myth. Are smart people overrated? How should companies be structured and operate? 18.) The New-Boy Network. An article about job interviews, judgment and first impressions. 19.) Troublemakers. An article about pit bulls. Are they dangerous, or is it their owners? Making assumptions about NYC being violent. Racial profiling. Very interesting.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    I didn't buy this book because it is a collection of already published articles, nearly all of which I have read already. But I saw it at the library and decided to read it anyway. What a wonderfully fun experience. There are quite a few criticism I could make of these articles. Gladwell is a storyteller and sometimes lets telling a good story take precedence over reality. In his case, this usually means making all of the pieces fit together just so, instead of revealing the messy way that the w I didn't buy this book because it is a collection of already published articles, nearly all of which I have read already. But I saw it at the library and decided to read it anyway. What a wonderfully fun experience. There are quite a few criticism I could make of these articles. Gladwell is a storyteller and sometimes lets telling a good story take precedence over reality. In his case, this usually means making all of the pieces fit together just so, instead of revealing the messy way that the world doesn't always fit together right. I could go on, but the fact is: I really like reading these articles. Some of them are as fun and as fine as great short stories. And sometimes those pieces really do fit together exactly the way he implies. I loved the opening piece on Ron Popeil, of Ronco informercial fame. An inventor and a pitchman; I enjoyed seeing his familiar patter through Gladwell's eyes. I liked reading about Nathan Taleb; I've read The Black Swan and, again, it was neat to see him through Gladwell's eyes. Likewise Cesar Milan and his dogs. His essay on culture and hair coloring products puts together a story that puts to shame all of those people trying to view the culture through one lens or another...I could go on about plagiarism, homelessness (and pollution), cancer detection (and terrorism) and so on.... But that's enough for me to remember why I liked this book so much.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)

    This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews. 3.5/5 I have to say that this was average. A very average book that had many interesting stories (or adventures as Gladwell called them) but not many that stood out. I can think of four stories, technically three topics, that really stood out to me. The first was one that dealt with plagiarism. Since I’m a new graduate from college, I definitely know all about that stuff and how important it is not to do that. Gladwell took a story — a woman w This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews. 3.5/5 I have to say that this was average. A very average book that had many interesting stories (or adventures as Gladwell called them) but not many that stood out. I can think of four stories, technically three topics, that really stood out to me. The first was one that dealt with plagiarism. Since I’m a new graduate from college, I definitely know all about that stuff and how important it is not to do that. Gladwell took a story — a woman who saw that a play had plagiarized her life — and reacted as most would: She sued. Yet, Gladwell spent so much time making us sympathize with the woman whose life was plagiarized, then took a chance to completely spin the story in a new way. He tried to make us see how the plagiarizer felt. And he succeeded in it. He grasped the way the woman felt, along with arguments against this being plagiarized. All in all, I thought it was an impressively written article that captured how plagiarism isn’t as clear-cut as we like to think. Profiling is the next two articles he wrote about that impressed me. I’ll lump them together since they were on the same topic. Obviously, Gladwell has an issue with profiling, but the arguments were very different. He wrote first about how criminal profiling came to be, examining the issues of it and how it’s nothing more than guesswork. It was interesting since I love Criminal Minds and I used to want to do that work. I wanted to be a profiler. I wanted to do that so desperately. What I liked that Gladwell did was examining profiling as if it was a psychic doing their work, along with pointing out all the ways it was that. The second article he wrote against profiling was to do with pitbulls. I mean, how interesting. He took a topic that wasn’t too interesting and made it so. He talked about the reasons why banning pitbulls are wrong, along with offering a way to change it to make it better. Rather than caring about stable things (i.e. the traits of the owner) to pick out unsafe dogs, we pay attention to unstable things (i.e. dog breed). And, lastly, the final story I enjoyed was the titular one. What the Dog Saw. It’s basically a piece on Cesar Millan. What I liked was how it tied his work with dogs into his life and how he had to develop as a person, much how the dogs he worked with had to develop into dogs. I grew up watching his TV show because my mom loved it. We even use some of his techniques in our house. However, I didn’t know about his life and it was interesting to see another side of him. Those were my four favorite stories boiled down into quick summaries. There were quite a few stories, though, and not all of them I liked. It was an average anthology of Gladwell’s articles that I would recommend only to people who really like his work.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Punk

    Non-Fiction. A collection of essays previously published in The New Yorker, with publication dates ranging from 1997 to 2008. Gladwell is at his pop science best here, taking on Enron, corporate hiring practices, pitbulls, homelessness, Cesar Millan, plagiarism, and the hair color industry. He even manages to make stock options transparent for a while. As always, his writing is deft, easy, and accessible. I particularly enjoyed the piece on the Morris-Popeil (of the Ron Popeil Popeils) Dynasty, th Non-Fiction. A collection of essays previously published in The New Yorker, with publication dates ranging from 1997 to 2008. Gladwell is at his pop science best here, taking on Enron, corporate hiring practices, pitbulls, homelessness, Cesar Millan, plagiarism, and the hair color industry. He even manages to make stock options transparent for a while. As always, his writing is deft, easy, and accessible. I particularly enjoyed the piece on the Morris-Popeil (of the Ron Popeil Popeils) Dynasty, the essay on ketchup and why it's no mustard (this made me crave French fries so desperately I nearly threw the book down and took off for McDonald's mid-essay), and the articles on military intelligence and mammograms. The essay on birth control was one of the first things I'd ever read by Gladwell and it impressed me a lot at the time. Today it raised more questions than praise. The essay, written in 2000, says the Pill was wrongly accused of causing blood clots in the late 1960s. Oral contraceptives cause blood clots now, but they also have a vastly different hormonal profile than the original Pill. A brief Google of the internet has nothing to say on the subject, so I can't back myself up here, but something's off. Gladwell adds footnotes to update several articles, but the blood clot issue -- as well as new findings connecting artificial hormones and cancer in female bodies -- goes unaddressed. Several of these pieces felt too short; I'd turn the page and be surprised it was over, and if you've read Blink you're already familiar with the concept, and much of the research, behind "The New-Boy Network," but if you like Gladwell, you'll like this book. Four stars. Gladwell has a real gift for setting a scene and getting across a lot of information in a way that doesn't make it feel like someone dumped an encyclopedia on your head. eBook related content: This epub has a footnote to nowhere! Actually, it links to a different, unrelated footnote, but that was weird. A bigger problem is that almost every acronym in this book is rendered in italics for no good reason. And it's not consistent; if the acronym is near certain punctuation marks, it's not in italics. Obviously the formatting got borked somewhere.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    I hadn't realized this was a collection of Gladwell's essays, many (most? all?) have seen publication in the New Yorker. I found this out while reading the New York Times essay on the book, Malcolm Gladwell, Eclectic Detective, by none other than Steven Pinker. His evaluation of What the Dog Saw is mostly laudatory pretty hostile*, although and he takes the opportunity to get a dig in at Outliers:The reasoning in “Outliers,” which consists of cherry-picked anecdotes, post-hoc sophistry and false I hadn't realized this was a collection of Gladwell's essays, many (most? all?) have seen publication in the New Yorker. I found this out while reading the New York Times essay on the book, Malcolm Gladwell, Eclectic Detective, by none other than Steven Pinker. His evaluation of What the Dog Saw is mostly laudatory pretty hostile*, although and he takes the opportunity to get a dig in at Outliers:The reasoning in “Outliers,” which consists of cherry-picked anecdotes, post-hoc sophistry and false dichotomies, had me gnawing on my Kindle. Fortunately for “What the Dog Saw,” the essay format is a better showcase for Gladwell’s talents, because the constraints of length and editors yield a higher ratio of fact to fancy.The "official" New York Times review of What the Dog Saw is Changing the Subject, Maintaining the Tone by Janet Maslin. And just for the sake of completeness, the New York Times published a "profile" of Gladwell, back in 2006, entitled The Gladwell Effect, by Rachel Donadio, which includes two pictures showing Gladwell's exuberant hair at two degrees of shornness. Bonus! (Although not quite as luxurious as Pinker's tresses...) * Review edited for accuracy after I was prompted to read it more carefully!  

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kenny Tang

    MMmmm... Leftover scraps... This book felt like a forced dish of leftovers from other books or articles. It lacked a clear central theme to derive a clear lesson unlike other books in Gladwell's collection like Tipping Point (Small things builds critical mass and changes norm), Blink (Small samples can help make valuable decisions), Outliers (10,000 hours of practice to achieve greatness). This book was just a mish-mash of stories, some good, some so so, but mostly unrelated or at least I was to MMmmm... Leftover scraps... This book felt like a forced dish of leftovers from other books or articles. It lacked a clear central theme to derive a clear lesson unlike other books in Gladwell's collection like Tipping Point (Small things builds critical mass and changes norm), Blink (Small samples can help make valuable decisions), Outliers (10,000 hours of practice to achieve greatness). This book was just a mish-mash of stories, some good, some so so, but mostly unrelated or at least I was too dumb to get the central theme. Gladwell's story telling capabilities were intact so it was still somewhat entertaining but the lack of a central theme made me feel it it was running all over the place with it's head cut off. He goes from understanding a kitchen gadget inventor to why there's more flavors of mustard than ketchup to investment philosophies of hedge funds to pit bull bans... Ya? Confused? Me too!! This one is definitely not Gladwell's best work but it's not horrendous... So put it off until you've run out of other books...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Pradnya K.

    While reading this book I was wondering all the way - how nice it would be to open a magazine and find such intriguing, well-researched, knowledgeable post with a morning tea! Yes, these are the posts from The New Yorker where he has been working. Such fine posts are rarity these days. I like non fiction. Especially when they're told in intriguing way like this. It's fun to read and many times I found myself waiting for what's next? This is hard to achieve when it comes to research and real life While reading this book I was wondering all the way - how nice it would be to open a magazine and find such intriguing, well-researched, knowledgeable post with a morning tea! Yes, these are the posts from The New Yorker where he has been working. Such fine posts are rarity these days. I like non fiction. Especially when they're told in intriguing way like this. It's fun to read and many times I found myself waiting for what's next? This is hard to achieve when it comes to research and real life write ups. It's a balanced mixture of psychology, behavior, history, research, religion and morals, and science. As Gladwell points out, this is not a book about the legends but the middle ones who have made impact on generations. So, naturally it brings the less known things to the light. Ironically these are also about the commonplace things like, tomato ketchup, vegetable slicer, hair dye, a dog trainer, mustard or birth control pills. The book has it all with their very little known history. "Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade...It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head - even if in the end you conclude that someone else's head is not a place you're really like to be." This book does it all, keeps the reader glued, gives glimpse of how humans and even dogs think, enriches database of knowledge and most importantly widens thinking horizon. Reading about dog psychology, I realized why dogs react to few people in angrier ways than to others. Reading the history of hair dyes and their ad-campaigns, one gets a different angle to see the old time conceptions of how women were perceived if they dyed their hair. Similarly, the criminal psychology is interesting just like any real suspense thriller. It also throws a light on the problem of homelessness and how it is easier to end it than to manage it. At the same time how unjustified it will be to provide home to the drug addicts, living on the streets than helping poor, honest people who take efforts to earn their livelihood. He not only puts his point but makes you see the irony of our system and the inevitable, unanswered questions. May it be the cancer screening tests or a banning pit bulls. The book is enriched with wonderful quotes throughout which are thought-provoking and succinct. While writing about writing and plagiarism he says: “I think when one's working, one works between absolute confidence and absolute doubt, and I got a huge dallop of each.” And speaking of psychology he writes: “Happiness, in one sense, is a function of how closely our world conforms to the infinite variety of human preference.” What could be so firm and validating than such quotes? “No amount of observations of white swans can allow the inference that all swans are white, but the observation of a single black swan is sufficient to refute that conclusion.” I find it's five star read and now sits in my favorite. Malcolm Gladwell fans will not be disappointed to read this.

  20. 5 out of 5

    David

    There seems to have been a bit of a backlash against Malcolm Gladwell during the last year, but this book, a collection of his New Yorker pieces, reminds us why he achieved such prominence to begin with. Gladwell's particular talent is to take a subject which might seem initially to be irredeemably dull and to poke at it from all sides until he locates the particular angle which will allow him to tell a story, simultaneously entertaining and edifying his readers. There's a little more to it than There seems to have been a bit of a backlash against Malcolm Gladwell during the last year, but this book, a collection of his New Yorker pieces, reminds us why he achieved such prominence to begin with. Gladwell's particular talent is to take a subject which might seem initially to be irredeemably dull and to poke at it from all sides until he locates the particular angle which will allow him to tell a story, simultaneously entertaining and edifying his readers. There's a little more to it than that, of course: in particular, a seemingly unbounded curiosity about why the world is the way it is, and the skill to craft narratives that engage the general reader without being either boring or condescending. One of the factors which contributes greatly to his success is an almost uncanny ability to explain technically complicated material in an accessible manner - he makes this seem so effortless that I think people have begun to take this aspect of his work for granted. I think it's anything but effortless, that it takes hard work every time and he is one of only a handful of writers to pull it off regularly. You may find yourself disagreeing with something that Gladwell is telling you, but you generally won't have too much difficulty figuring it out. Gladwell groups the essays in this book into three broad categories: Part 1: Obsessives, pioneers, and other varieties of minor genius Part 2: Theories, predictions, and diagnoses Part 3: Personality, character, and intelligence In the first part, which includes profiles of Ron Popeil (the infomercial king), Cesar Millan (the dog whisperer), Nassim Taleb (contrarian investor and author of "Fooled by Randomness"), as well as chapters on ketchup, hair coloring, and the history of the contraceptive pill, Gladwell sticks closest to his source material, avoiding the kind of premature generalization that is his Achilles heel. He isn't always successful in doing so in the remaining parts so that, while his lucid common sense on the topics of mammography, plagiarism, homelessness, and criminal profiling is a breath of fresh air, his arguments about organizational culture (the Enron debacle, the Challenger explosion) and predictors of individual performance (why some people choke and others panic, are smart people overrated?) are not entirely persuasive. Nonetheless, this is a fine collection. Gladwell on a bad day still manages to eclipse most other non-fiction writers out there.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I've got to hand it to Malcolm Gladwell; the man knows how to engage his reader. What the Dog Saw is a collection of articles Gladwell has written over the last ten years or so, each about 20-30 pages. Frankly, I think this is the perfect length for his writings, long enough to delve into the topic, but not so long that it feels he's making the same point over and over. The Time review called Gladwell "an omniscient, many-armed Hindu god of anecdotes," and that's actually what it feels like to r I've got to hand it to Malcolm Gladwell; the man knows how to engage his reader. What the Dog Saw is a collection of articles Gladwell has written over the last ten years or so, each about 20-30 pages. Frankly, I think this is the perfect length for his writings, long enough to delve into the topic, but not so long that it feels he's making the same point over and over. The Time review called Gladwell "an omniscient, many-armed Hindu god of anecdotes," and that's actually what it feels like to read this book. A single article will connect two seemingly unrelated things in a way that makes you wonder why you never put them together before: NFL quarterbacks and kindergarten teachers; mammograms and military bombing missions; homelessness in Denver, aggressive cops in LA, and super-polluting cars. It's amazing. As always, I don't think Gladwell's point is to force you to agree with him, it's to make you challenge your conventional view of the world. In one article, he argues that it might be easier to solve the homeless problem than to manage it, but that doing so goes against our moral sense of fairness. In another, he explains that traditional employment interviews don't work, and the ones that do work are highly unpopular because they don't follow our intuition about evaluating people. In yet another, he describes how the Challenger explosion or the meltdown at Three Mile Island might really be nobody's fault. Just thinking about these issues is enough to make you start second-guessing all sorts of conventional wisdom, and I think that's what makes Gladwell's writing so valuable. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what he comes out with next.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Deny

    Малкълм Гладуел не случайно е една от звездите на списание New Yorker. Той е журналист, известен с новаторския си подход към теми, за които сякаш няма какво повече да се каже. Или изобщо няма какво да се каже. Като боята за коса, например. В нея на пръв поглед няма нищо интересно, но не и за добрия журналист, който знае, че материал може да се напише за всичко, стига да откриеш собствената си и уникална гледна точка към темата. Така например се оказва, че в началото с кутийката боя за коса милио Малкълм Гладуел не случайно е една от звездите на списание New Yorker. Той е журналист, известен с новаторския си подход към теми, за които сякаш няма какво повече да се каже. Или изобщо няма какво да се каже. Като боята за коса, например. В нея на пръв поглед няма нищо интересно, но не и за добрия журналист, който знае, че материал може да се напише за всичко, стига да откриеш собствената си и уникална гледна точка към темата. Така например се оказва, че в началото с кутийката боя за коса милиони жени са си купували не просто нов цвят, а място в обществото, идентичност и самоуважение. "Защото го заслужавам!" не е просто успешен рекламен слоган, който привлича глезли към марка козметични продукт. През 70-те тази фраза е бунтът, революцията на силната жена. В предговора на "Какво видя кучето" Гладуел сам обяснява защо е избрал това заглавие за сборника, събрал любимите му статии - общото в тях е, че доказват на читателя, че си струва да види света през чужди очи. Дори през очите на едно куче. Гладуел винаги започва с елементарните факти и установеното мнение за тях. Началото му е много убедително - чете се, например, удивлението му към криминалните профайлъри и чудесата, които те постигат при изграждането на портрета на издирваните престъпници. Читателят се отпуска и е сигурен, че го чака неангажираща научнопопулярна статия. И тогава Гладуел обявява, че профайлърите не са нищо по-различно от екстрасенсите, с които се консултира полицията. Подходът им уж е научен, но в него реално няма никаква систематизация. Криминалният профайлър е убедителен и ефективен, колкото една врачка. Такива са всичките му тези - упорита контра на "общопризнатата истина". Много бързо наоколо започват да се трупат и аргументи - реални данни и необорими цифри от проучвания, изследване на малката картинка в по-големи мащаби, необичайни гледни точки. Например Гладуел, който се опитва да разгадае тайната на успеха на "Говорещия с кучета" Сизър Милан, показва записи от предаването му на професионални танцьори. Оказва се, че те са съвсем адекватни консултанти в този случай. И да, знаят как го прави Сизър. Друга шокираща "въртележка" в книгата - "Грешката на Джон Рок", например, започва просто като история за създателя на противозачатъчното хапче. Докато в един момент - минавайки през данните от редица нови изследвания, не стига до стряскащия въпрос "Наистина ли е "естествено" жените да кървят на всеки 28 дни? Дали това всъщност не ги убива?" Ако сте фенове на финансиста-революционер Насим Талеб, Гладуел му е посветил статията си "Изгърмяване", в която успява да обясни тезата му за "черния лебед". На почти човешки език. Изключително интересен е материалът му "Нещо назаем", в който самият Гладуел е герой в историята си за защитата на авторските права. И застава на страната на авторка на пиеса, която доказано е плагиатствала от негови статии. "Изкуството на неуспеха" пък разглежда разликата между паниката и блокирането в екстремни ситуации. Защо, въпреки че приемаме тези две реакции като идентични, всъщност те са коренно противоположни? Защо е по-добре да си паникьосан, отколкото блокирал? "Къснозрейковци" изследва творческия процес и развенчава мита, че геният задължително се проявява в младежките години. "Митът за таланта" пък е остра критика към подхода на част от американските корпорации при подбора и мотивирането на кадрите им. Гладуел е не просто добър журналист, той е майстор, който знае, че в дъното на всеки феномен, на всяка история стои човекът. Затова добрата история - дори тя да е за кухненски уреди, продавани по телевизията, или за магическата формула на кетчупа, всъщност е човешка история. Защото всичко, с което сме се обградили днес, е функция на нас човеците. Нищо, което създаваме не съществува просто за да съществува - то има значение за някого някъде. И съществуването му говори нещо за нас.

  23. 4 out of 5

    ucha

    review 1# lima alasan untuk lima bintang bagus tidaknya tulisan bukan dinilai dari kekuatan kemampuannya meyakinkan. sukses tidaknya dinilai dari kekuatan kemampuannya untuk membuat Anda terlibat, berpikir, memberi kilasan mengenai isi kepala orang lain - bahkan jika pada akhirnya Anda simpulkan bahwa kepala orang lain itu bukan tempat yang Anda ingin datangi. -m.gladwell- Akhirnya petualangan dengan buku ini terselesaikan juga, sejak pengantar hingga cerita terakhir,tulisan2 Gladwell sangat menar review 1# lima alasan untuk lima bintang bagus tidaknya tulisan bukan dinilai dari kekuatan kemampuannya meyakinkan. sukses tidaknya dinilai dari kekuatan kemampuannya untuk membuat Anda terlibat, berpikir, memberi kilasan mengenai isi kepala orang lain - bahkan jika pada akhirnya Anda simpulkan bahwa kepala orang lain itu bukan tempat yang Anda ingin datangi. -m.gladwell- Akhirnya petualangan dengan buku ini terselesaikan juga, sejak pengantar hingga cerita terakhir,tulisan2 Gladwell sangat menarik untuk dibaca. Buku ini adalah kumpulan artikel favoritnya yg ditulis sejak 1996 di the new yorker. 1# genius minor Bukan Einstein, Churchill atau Mandela tapi orang-orang terobsesi seperti Ron Popeil, John Rock, Nassim Taleb,Cesar Millan dan Shirley Polykoff yang menjadi sumber inspirasi dan bahan tulisan yg menarik bagi Gladwell.Banyak kisah istimewa yang terselubung dalam kehidupan mereka, mulai dari kisah pahit si penemu pil KB, rahasia psikolog anjing, sampai kisah perempuan penulis iklan pewarna rambut. 2# analogi tak biasa Salah satu contoh terbaik adalah cerita ketiga di bagian kedua - Masalah gambar, disitu Gladwell membandingkan antara masalah cara membaca foto sinar-x pada tes mamografi dan masalah yg dihadapi Angkatan Udara AS ketika melihat foto-foto udara yg diambil oleh pesawat tempur mereka ketika mencari senjata pemusnah massa di Irak. 3# kritik tajam Tidak sedikit tulisan Gladwell yg mengkritik beberapa pihak dengan kisah kisah yag disajikannya. Dalam kisah Murray Sejuta Dollar,Gladwell mengkritisi kebijakan tunawisma yang ada di New York, juga kritikan terhadap penyusun profil kriminal FBI John Douglas lewat kisah seru dan perbedaan analisa dari kelompok psikolog Liverpool. 4# riset dan kaya akan data Dengan basis jurnalismenya, sangat terlihat bahwa Gladwell menyiapkan sungguh riset dan data sebelum menyajikan tulisan, bahkan untuk hal-hal yg mungkin dianggap remeh oleh orang. Ketika akan menulis tentang bedanya tercekik (choke) dan panik, dia menyewa seorang pilot untuk menerbangkannya dalam pesawat yg sama, cuaca yg sama, dan terbang dengan menukik dan memuntir, seperti yg dialami JFK Jr sebelum mengalami kecelakaan pesawat. 5# menulis itu asyik Menurutnya menulis adalah pekerjaan yang serius dan berat, tapi juga sekaligus sesuatu yang asyik. Kita dapat merasakan semangat dan passionnya sangat kentara disetiap tulisannya. Satu kali tulisannya pernah dijiplak oleh orang lain, artikelnya yg berjudul "Damaged" dicatut oleh Bryony Lavery untuk drama panggung. Tapi bagaimana Gladwell menanggapinya semakin menyakinkan akan passionnya terhadap pekerjaan "menulis"nya Saya sungguh menikmati tiap tulisannya, sesekali coba menonton di youtube untuk melihat langsung Cesar Millan dan program Dog Whisperer link-nya , juga the greatest choking in tennis tentang final Wimbledon pertandingan Novotna vs Graf link-nya untuk ikut mendalami apa yang ingin disampaikan Gladwell. Dua tulisan tentang Enron juga memberi kilasan pada saya yg tidak tahu persis apa yg sebenarnya yg terjadi peristiwa besar di pasar saham AS waktu itu. Begitulah Gladwell, meski banyak pula perdebatan atas buku ini, salah satunya lewat Pinker (lihat di link Pinker Review dan balasan Gladwell link Gladwell comment tapi buku ini membuat saya ingin membaca buku2nya yang lain. My new favourite Journalist .. (with very big J, notes by bang ronny :)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kiwiflora

    What makes the writing of Malcolm Gladwell so interesting and compelling to read is that he looks at the everyday stuff of life just a little bit differently from the rest of us. He must have been an incredibly curious child, probably driving his parents completely crazy with question after question about absolutely everything. And most of the stuff he writes about is stuff that from time to time may flash through our minds, but there it stops. In 'Outliers', for example, he looks at why Asians What makes the writing of Malcolm Gladwell so interesting and compelling to read is that he looks at the everyday stuff of life just a little bit differently from the rest of us. He must have been an incredibly curious child, probably driving his parents completely crazy with question after question about absolutely everything. And most of the stuff he writes about is stuff that from time to time may flash through our minds, but there it stops. In 'Outliers', for example, he looks at why Asians are so good at maths. This is something we all generally know, but how many of us have actually given it any deep thought? Or in 'The Tipping Point', we accept fashion trends as something we follow because that is what in the shops. But Gladwell takes the example of the sudden and unexpected increase in popularity of people wearing Hush Puppies shoes, of all things. His latest book is a collection of essays he wrote between 1996 and 2008 while he was working for 'The New Yorker' magazine. Should we really be banning pit-bull terriers, are they really as dangerous as they seem? Why do some people choke or panic when under stress, and what is the difference between choking and panicking anyway? Why are mammograms not necessarily as reliable as we think they are? And why, in the 1950s, did it suddenly become socially acceptable for women to start dyeing their hair when it had always been the domain of hookers and chorus girls? Malcolm Gladwell attempts to find out the answers to these curly questions and a host of others. It is, of course, intriguing reading, funny, interesting, 'well fancy that'. And he writes it all in such an easy to follow fashion, despite all the facts, figures, reports, trials, examples, interviews that he uses to illustrate and prove his points. If you look at the review in an esteemed publication such as the New York Times Gladwell does come in for some criticism over the lack of 'technical grounding' on his subjects, his tendency to be genarlise in his writing and to include the reader in his reasonings: the royal 'we'. But as another review observed, he does not profess to be an expert in any of the subjects he writes about. His overwhelming curiosity and writing ability are more than enough to keep the reader engaged, to make us think further about the world we live in and how we try to rationlise what is going on around us.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Souza

    Another solidly enjoyable book from Malcolm Gladwell! He's definitely in my top 5 "I can count on a good book by..." list. This is a compilation of New Yorker articles that he has written over the last 15 years. There were riveting chapters on why the Pill is a monthly medication (and it's impact on women - basically quadrupling the number of lifetime periods, and directly correlating to cancers), another on why there are many different mustard types, but there's only Heinz ketchup (actually quit Another solidly enjoyable book from Malcolm Gladwell! He's definitely in my top 5 "I can count on a good book by..." list. This is a compilation of New Yorker articles that he has written over the last 15 years. There were riveting chapters on why the Pill is a monthly medication (and it's impact on women - basically quadrupling the number of lifetime periods, and directly correlating to cancers), another on why there are many different mustard types, but there's only Heinz ketchup (actually quite fascinating!), the impact of marketing on hair dye and women's roles in the workplace, criminal profiling, etc. Each article is completely different, and thoroughly enjoyable. The reason that this book received 4 stars rather than 5 was mainly due to the fact that it was compilations, and there was no overarching theme. Blink changed my life, and my career. The Tipping Point made me evaluate what kind of person I am (a maven) and instinctively categorize others in ways that help me interact with them. They got 5 stars. This was thoroughly enjoyable, but not a game changer. It's a good 4 star book. Definitely a book I will read with enjoyment again!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Malcolm Gladwell has become a "hot" non-fiction writer, although he has obviously been around for a while. His recent books "Blink", "The Tipping Point", and "Outliers" have been hugely successful. I found his latest "What the Dog Saw" in the library. When writers finally hit their stride, some of their earlier work gets re-published. These are short essays he wrote over the last 20 years. Gladwell's appeal is that he is a charming "geek" (just look at him!) who picks unusual subjects and makes Malcolm Gladwell has become a "hot" non-fiction writer, although he has obviously been around for a while. His recent books "Blink", "The Tipping Point", and "Outliers" have been hugely successful. I found his latest "What the Dog Saw" in the library. When writers finally hit their stride, some of their earlier work gets re-published. These are short essays he wrote over the last 20 years. Gladwell's appeal is that he is a charming "geek" (just look at him!) who picks unusual subjects and makes them really interesting. The title essay is about Cesar Millan "the Dog Whisperer". His story is as fascinating as his TV show. Another story is about the history of ketchup and why it is like it is, and how attempts to "change" it have failed. Perhaps the most interesting story is about "late bloomers" - a writer who seemed to appear overnight but actually had been honing his skills for 20 years (like himself, perhaps) - and the painter Cezanne, who did not become a "genius" until his 50's. Gladwell is a fine writer, and you may enjoy him.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sterlingcindysu

    The main thing I got from this book is that I miss magazines and being able to read an article on a subject I'd never thought about, and learn something in 15 minutes. If I told you "choking is when you overthink a situation and panicking is when you stop thinking" that doesn't carry the same weight as reading one of these articles, yet that is how most of us get information anymore, in short slideshows, bulletin points and twitter feeds. I read this over time--as a monthly magazine would have b The main thing I got from this book is that I miss magazines and being able to read an article on a subject I'd never thought about, and learn something in 15 minutes. If I told you "choking is when you overthink a situation and panicking is when you stop thinking" that doesn't carry the same weight as reading one of these articles, yet that is how most of us get information anymore, in short slideshows, bulletin points and twitter feeds. I read this over time--as a monthly magazine would have been read--and still remember the hair color dye and the homeless problem articles. Imagine, the solution may be to give homeless people places to live since their medical care is so much more expensive! Not every article was to my liking but by the time I thought I wouldn't be interested, I was done. I should probably read more nonfiction.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul,

    What the Dog Saw is a compilation of Malcolm Gladwell's best writing for the New Yorker. As always, Gladwell's work is informative, provocative, and fun to read. While I don't always agree with Gladwell's opinions, I always enjoy reading them. In this work, my favorite piece was called "John Rocks Error: What the Inventor of Birth Control Didn't Know About Women's Health". This may surprise you because I'm not a woman, and I'm not really interested in birth control. I am very interested in the cu What the Dog Saw is a compilation of Malcolm Gladwell's best writing for the New Yorker. As always, Gladwell's work is informative, provocative, and fun to read. While I don't always agree with Gladwell's opinions, I always enjoy reading them. In this work, my favorite piece was called "John Rocks Error: What the Inventor of Birth Control Didn't Know About Women's Health". This may surprise you because I'm not a woman, and I'm not really interested in birth control. I am very interested in the culture of the first century A.D. Strangely enough, Gladwell's essay on modern birth control directly affects how I interpret the events of the first century A.D. as recorded in the Bible. The major idea that I took from Gladwell's research is that the age of puberty has dramatically decreased in Western societies in the modern age because of advances in medicine and nutrition. Similar changes have been documented in several developing countries, including the Kikuyu tribe of Kenya and several tribes in Papua New Guinea. In our country, teenagers reach sexual maturity (as evidenced by menarche and spermache) at about 13. Girls tend to mature about 6 months earlier than boys. In developing countries, however, the average age at which teenagers reach sexual maturity can be as high as 18 years old! These teenagers reach puberty later (about a year later), then go through puberty much more slowly. Now, anthropologists knew that girls married very soon after menarche. However, figuring out exactly how much later menarche occurred is a relatively recent development. When it comes to biblical studies, it helps me understand Luke 1:46-55. This passage is called Mary's Song, and I have been trying to wrap my head around how a 13 or 14 year old girl could possibly have composed it. I have been trying to understand how such a young girl could manage the journey to Bethlehem, could convince her parents that an angel visited her, or manage her own household. However, if we take Gladwell's research seriously, it is very unlikely that Mary was 15 when she conceived. Statistically speaking, if Mary conceived as soon as she was physically able, and delivered after nine months, she was probably around 18 or a little older. In that culture, given common marriage customs, she was probably no older than 20 (though we can't say for sure, of course). And that makes Mary's song, and her maturity, a lot easier to interpret. This research may also have implications on youth ministry and child raising. It seems that the intensity of the hormonal storm of the teenage years is much stronger because of the sheer amount and quality of the food we eat, the scarcity of physical labor (and disease), along with a host of unknown factors. Should we be trying to figure out how to prolong and temper puberty through nutrition? The article is also interesting for its impact on how and why we use birth control, but I don't really have anything to add to that conversation. On the negative side, Gladwell continues his enmity with innate talent. Gladwell appears to be a moderate Blank Slater (to borrow Pinker's terminology). In other words, people can be whatever they want to be. My own position is that the brain is just like any other physical characteristic. Some people are tall, some are short, some are white, some are black, some are smart, and some aren't. That doesn't make anybody better than anybody else. Like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4 "For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?" When it comes to intelligence, everyone is afraid that it means people ARE less if they aren't as intelligent. That is not true. We all have our own gifts. Now, I do agree with Gladwell that intelligence or talent does not guarantee success. I also agree that we have an unhealthy fascination with talent. But the solution is not to show that talent is unimportant, it is to understand what talent is. What do you think?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ensiform

    A collection of Gladwell’s articles from “The New Yorker” – musings on what makes people tick, why some ideas fail, and how well we can predict a person’s success in a particular field, profiles of leaders, “obsessives,” and quirky geniuses. As with all of Gladwell’s books, he turns every story into a human-interest story, every idea into a lesson about what humans believe in their innermost souls. So the tireless Ron Popeil (of Ronco fame) and Cesar Milan and the female copy writers behind hair A collection of Gladwell’s articles from “The New Yorker” – musings on what makes people tick, why some ideas fail, and how well we can predict a person’s success in a particular field, profiles of leaders, “obsessives,” and quirky geniuses. As with all of Gladwell’s books, he turns every story into a human-interest story, every idea into a lesson about what humans believe in their innermost souls. So the tireless Ron Popeil (of Ronco fame) and Cesar Milan and the female copy writers behind hair dye ad campaigns have in common not just “obsessiveness” and passion, but also a knowledge about what makes the world tick that makes their success seem inevitable. He investigates the unusual approach to the stock market of Nassim Taleb (of Black Swan fame, although the profile predates that best-seller), the Enron collapse, the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster, not by rehashing old stories but by looking at them through the eyes of his subjects. This is the main point shared by the various stories: can we learn from those who see things differently? What is Cesar Milan thinking when he trains a dog? (He seems to be thinking you’re not a very intelligent person if you fawn over a dog after it misbehaves.) More to the point, what is the dog thinking? (Here is someone who will tell me what to do, at last.) What were the Enron executives thinking? (As it turns out, they were victims of what Carol Dweck called the “fixed” mindset in her very good book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success). Why don’t we manage hopeless cases of alcoholism and homelessness better, by setting them up to succeed rather than picking them up and hospitalizing them every time they fall? (Because we don’t find the idea fair, although it would be cheaper.) Not everything in the book is pure genius. The section on what it takes to be a good teacher, while well-intentioned, is so ignorant of the subject (he swallows what the “experts” tell him without question) that I wondered what else he might have missed that I don’t know enough about to catch. But even when Gladwell’s conclusions are a bit off, the book still beguiles. Gladwell’s moody, affable, warm prose is a huge help, but his real skill is in social psychology, of making even the most discussed events (such as Enron and Challenger) fresh by looking at them as a human story: not populated by villains and victims but by flawed people who fall into patterns and make mistakes and start getting lax about the future because things have worked out in the past. By turning dry news stories into compelling tales of everyday life that can teach us about what we like and don’t like (why doesn’t ketchup come in varieties?), Gladwell makes us think about cause and effect, and may just make us think about why we do the things we do.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Unlike Outliers, The Tipping Point, or Blink, Malcom Gladwell's newest book What the Dog Saw isn't an examination of one topic cut from whole cloth, but rather an eclectic mix of articles that originally appeared in The New Yorker. In it he examines everything from why it's impossible to improve on Ketchup, why Enron's failure was a mystery but not a puzzle, what makes for a good dog trainer, and what FBI criminal profilers have in common with psychics. It's good stuff. The format of What the Dog Unlike Outliers, The Tipping Point, or Blink, Malcom Gladwell's newest book What the Dog Saw isn't an examination of one topic cut from whole cloth, but rather an eclectic mix of articles that originally appeared in The New Yorker. In it he examines everything from why it's impossible to improve on Ketchup, why Enron's failure was a mystery but not a puzzle, what makes for a good dog trainer, and what FBI criminal profilers have in common with psychics. It's good stuff. The format of What the Dog Saw actually highlights one of the things I really like about Gladwell's style: he takes a single interesting idea and then dives really deep with it, meticulously building towards a conclusion by snapping together what at first appear to be wholly disparate elements but by the end form a strong pattern. What do homeless people in Reno have to do with the Rodney King Riots? What does the song "Last Christmas" by Wham! have to do with accusations of plagiarism on Broadway? What do the late John F. Kennedy Jr. and (almost) tennis superstar Jana Novatna have in common? Gladwell pulls them together and makes it riveting despite the fact that the language and tone he uses in his writing is usually pretty tame and without a whole lot of personality. This is not to say, however, that Gladwell isn't completely without his shortcomings, and indeed his habit of fitting pieces together can sometimes be revealed to be a flaw in his writing if you're after a complete picture. Specifically, he seems to sometimes selectively pick what research he reports on and who he talks to, possibly in the service of forming a coherent and simplified story. This only really became evident to me when I a story on one of the topics where I somewhat approach being an expert: the use of general intelligence to predict job performance. Not only does Gladwell conflate intelligence with "talent" (a term that probably has different meanings to different people), he sells cognitive ability short by deriding its small (in absolute terms) relationship with job performance without giving consideration to the piles of research saying that while the correlation isn't a perfect 1.0, it's still really high relative to other predictors like emotional intelligence. On the other hand, Gladwell's excellent essay on the benefits of structured interviews should be required reading for all HR managers and anyone involved in interviews. Go read it here. If you liked it, you'll probably like the rest of the book as well.

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