Monday, July 11, 2011

cc reviews: outliers by malcolm gladwell

"cc reviews" i know. it is pretentious. lol. im pretending to be a gibbs cadiz. well, it is my blog. i can be whomever i choose to be. and today, i choose to be gibbs. cue in high pitch. Kidding, gibbs! (maybe he'll skip this post. hehe)

i read an e-book version. courtesy of torrent. the quality is quite bad. paragraphs mixed up in certain places. the tables and illustrations got lost. so i am basing this on strictly my understanding of that e-book.

outliers. super-successful persons like bill gates, sports jocks, nobel prize laureates, the beatles. or even entire groups of people (the chinese kids who outperform everybody else in math). he debunks the general notion that these people are born with extraordinary talent, intelligence. and we mere mortals can just gawk.

according to his perspective, they are not very different from us (surprise!) and their success is as much environment, timing and good old luck as innate talent. it is their specific cultural legacy coupled with the right circumstances (happenstance). well, built on top of talent and intelligence (all different types of). and hard, hard work. 10,000 hours of hardwork. which is 10 years of working at something, at practicing for 4.5 hours everyday during weekdays (my computation).

a caveat: his definition of success is super-duper success, stratospheric if you look at the list. and though largely financial-based, he doesnt preclude the nobel laureates. so go figure if this will apply to you.

it is both hopeful and hopeless. you dont have to be born with mega-high IQ to make it. (hey that applies to me!) but at the same time, he speaks of a unique confluence of factors (demography, the system, your cultural legacy) that were present to allow that talent to germinate. and to allow you to actually put in 10,000 hours of pure, hard work.

what is the Filipino cultural legacy? was ours really a rice-based culture that made our forefathers work much, much harder everyday of the year? what did 300 years of colonization do to that?

being born at this point in time in our history, the educational system we grew up in, how will these factors predispose success in one area over the other? or are we 'doomed' from the start?

will recognizing these be enough to improve my chances of success? but with so many factors that seem beyond my control, how will i even get by? or is it too late for me?

so many questions the book raises for me. worth pondering, for sure. i just dont know if i have the time or the patience.

a final ending statement: books read us as much as we read them.

what ive retained and chosen as my learnings from this book is because of who i am, and not because of what the book is.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


J said...

Hey CC! It's actually quite easy to find good quality ebooks online without using torrents. I have a copy of this book in PDF, but haven't read it yet. If you want I can email it to you or just google the title, author, and preferred ebook format (pdf, epub, etc) and you can just check which links still work. :D

closet case said...

@J oh please email me! id be much obliged!