The BTM e book report: "Blinkeln: The facility of pondering with out pondering"
|About the book|
|title::||Blink: The power of thinking without thinking|
|length::||296 pages (paperback)|
|editor::||Little, Brown and Company|
Blink is the second offer from Malcolm Gladwell that we are reviewing as part of our BTM Book Report series. While outliers have focused on the factors that influence success in a number of areas and topics, Blink explores the idea of good decision making. By presenting stories and research into how we make decisions, Gladwell provides valuable insight into faster decision-making that is very applicable to the decisions we as bowlers often make on the lanes.
The first key concept for bowlers is the value of what he calls "thin slices". Often we think that more information leads to better results, but often it is the other way around. With the right expertise, smaller, highly relevant blocks of information can be enough to make good decisions. An example is John Gottman, who can watch a 15 minute video of a husband and wife discussion and predict with 90% accuracy whether they will still be married 15 years from now. This thin piece of information is enough in the hands of an expert who knows how to look for appropriate clues.
Gladwell also points out the dangers of "cutting thin" when it comes to bias. Often times, decisions based on thin slices can be very inaccurate if we fall victim to unconscious biases or preconceived ideas. He uses word association to illustrate how seemingly innocuous information can cause bias. That is why objective expertise is so important.
In the section on spontaneity, Gladwell also introduces the importance of structure. This doesn't seem intuitive, but he argues that structured practice offers more freedom to make decisions on the fly. An example to illustrate this point is an improvisation troupe. This group has intense rehearsals and discusses each performance, which allows them to be free in one of the most spontaneous forms of performance there is.
One of the most important rules within the structure is "Agreement". For an improvisational sketch to be successful, each actor must “accept” what the other person has given him in order to keep the flow going. This acceptance has to be mutual for things to flow successfully. …