I was first introduced to Malcolm Gladwell on a Sunday afternoon when Sarah and I got completely absorbed by the PBS show, Faces of America, hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. On this show, Malcolm Gladwell, and several other celebrities and famous people had their family histories explored all the way from recent history back to evidence of their earliest ancestors found in their own DNA. Gladwell is an author and had a very interesting family history. It was fascinating to watch his reactions to what the Faces of America team discovered about his family. When the chance to read a copy of his book Tipping Point came my way, I had to pick it up and read the work of one of my favorite subjects of the show we watched.
Tipping Point is a hard book to review I'm finding. When I've tried to explain it to friends and family, it takes several minutes to even classify the book. Its not fiction, its not an opinion piece and its not a text book. The best way I can describe it in as few words as possible is a discussion about the effects environments and social settings have on our behavior. Its really a deep look at how we as humans interact with each other and respond to cues in our environment.
Rather than give away the entire book, I'll give you just a small sample of what you can find in Tipping Point. Early in Gladwell's book, he talks about how different people seem to be able to spread news and information better than other people. For example, did you know Paul Revere wasn't the only person to make a midnight ride to warn New England about coming British advance? There was another man who rode on a different route but his message didn't spread. He is almost completely unknown to history. Why is this? In Tipping Point, theories as to why Paul Revere was so effective are presented based on what we know about his involvement with social groups and accounts of his overall personality. Paul Revere, it turns out, was one type of person who ends up being necessary to effectively spread information, trends and news quickly.
Tipping Point is a very "user-friendly" dive into human psychology. Everything from Paul Reverse, Sesame Street, the spread of HIV, crime, drug use, Airwalk shoes, advertising, and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants are used to explain some very fascinating aspects of our social lives and interactions.
About a third of all books I pick up I never finish. Not only did I finish Tipping Point, I made it a part of my daily lunch break at work setting aside time to reading it. Each chapter opened my eyes to behaviors I've always noticed but have never really thought about.
I highly recommend picking up Tipping Point and giving it a read. If you are in any sort of business that requires the management of human relationships (who isn't?) then this book should be read by you. I went to school and studied Psychology and ended up in Marketing. Marketing is essentially a process of figuring out what will stick with the intended audience. How can my message spread, stick and be absorbed by the people I'm reaching? Tipping Point gave me insight into how we take in information and what we do with it. While this "layman's terms" book isn't officially a psychology text book, I learned things within its pages I hadn't even considered during my education. Yep, its that good.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The LEGO Project series is a look through the Second Snack collection of LEGO sets from Thomas’ childhood as well as some modern sets. For years these LEGO bricks and pieces have been laying dormant in plastic bins but with the pooled resources of the Internet, reassembling sets is now a reality.
In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, an emo-ridden Anakin Skywalker flew around in what was actually a pretty awesome starfighter. On the city-planet of Corusant where a lot of story in the new trilogy took place, small and agile spacecraft like this were great for navigating the highways in the sky. LEGO recreated the starfighter in this set which includes an Anakin Skywalker mini-fig and R2-D2's head on one of the wings.
Along with the yellow starfighter comes a blue vulture droid. These vulture droids were also seen in Episode one where they can be seen walking upright along with flying in their horizontal configuration. The LEGO version can also stand or fly depending on how the builder configures it. Unfortunately this happens by way of unsnapping the wings/legs and re-positioning rather than a slick sliding motion (that would have been cool).
This is a great little set with some iconic figures in it. LEGO made a really nice addition to their new trilogy collection with this set.
Have a comment or questions? Post below!
Monday, November 14, 2011
Meme Monday brings you a weekly Internet Meme that we have found. Internet Memes are described as something that catches on like wildfire with Internet communities with no outside source of promotion. They exist purely for enjoyment and laughs.