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"outliers, The Story Of Success" By Malcolm Gladwell


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#1 anemone1983

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 06:43 AM

I'm currently reading "Outliers." In this book, Gladwell uses real life examples of how much impact when you were born, where you were born, and how your cultural/family/ethnic background plays into your opportunities for success. He delves into the not-so-obvious reasons behind success and presents interesting arguments on how he reached those conclusions.

For instance, if Bill Gates had been born just a few years earlier or later, he probably wouldn't be the successful person in computers that he is today. He was born at just the right time to be old enough (but not too old...), and in the right school that started a computer club in his 8th grade year, at a time when most colleges didn't have computer's nor computer clubs, and he had the curiosity and desire to start working with it. He became obessed with computers and programming, and by the time he dropped out of Harvard to start Microsoft, he'd been programming for seven years. Not many college sophomore's (or even graduates) would have that level of knowledge nor the experience in 1973/74. No doubt he would have been successful in whatever he decided to do after Harvard, but I doubt y'all would know his name if I mentioned him as a success story!

One other thing that really has me thinking, is the divide we're all concerned about between Chinese students success (and apparent love of) math and American students struggle with it. Gladwell correlates the numbering system in our languages with the ability to remember and learn numbers "Asian children learn to count much faster than American children. Four-year-old Chinese children can count, on average, to forty. American children can count only to fifteen, and most don't reach forty until they're five." Why? Get the book and flip to page 229...

He has lots of examples, with footnotes and references to studies, in the entire book. I'm not finished yet and I'm interested to see how he concludes.
Michele

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#2 SandiC.

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 08:46 AM

Thanks Michele, that sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.
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#3 MelJohnson

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:23 AM

I've heard other positive reviews of this book. Definitely sounds like one worth reading. Thanks for the additional insights.
Melanie

#4 Shelbi

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 10:18 AM

Thanks for sharing this with us, it does sound interesting.




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