Don’t blink, or you might miss it…

December 17, 2006

I just finished a great book (man, how many years since I let that cat out of the bag?): Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.

That books half the reason why I plan on getting back into blogging. But before I get to that, perhaps a brief synopsis of the book?

Blink consists of a series of anecdotes about the power of, well, thinking without thinking. Malcolm Gladwell, the author, discusses the strength of the unconscious mind (not Freud’s crazy dreamscape of pent up childhood lust and aggression), the mind just below the surface that mainly uses emotions to help us make snap decisions. The mind that leads scientists to say that a person without emotions would more or less find themselves unable to operate in the world in any reasonable way. In fact, Gladwell gives a case study of people with a certain disease (that I would totally look up) who have a part of their brain out of whack and therefore cannot use emotion to make decisions. Needless to say, these pure “rationalists” find themselves faced with hours of excruciating thinking before they can do something as trivial as choosing what to wear in the morning. Ouch.

Back on track: the book has two main lessons. One, that our unconscious mind tends to make better decisions than we could ever consciously make and, two, that the same unconscious mind can on average behave pretty idiotically.

I could go into this in more detail, but I’ll leave the book for that (definitely a fun, easy read). The point I want to get across boils down to this: act on that gut feeling. Nine times out of ten, you’ll do the right thing. And that tenth time won’t matter. Because you’ll have those nine successes to look at.

That’s why I decided to start posting original ideas again. Because my gut told me.




One Response to “Don’t blink, or you might miss it…”

  1. Dave in the West said

    Si… Especially comes to play while driving. Its a more compact and efficient way of thinking to summarize your perception of the surroundings with words like “eh.” Then, if you wish to analyze the situation further, and at a later time, then you draw from it and give actual words that make sense of the situation. It’s almost like drawing from a zip drive.

    The human body. Response. Regulation.

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