Friday, January 21, 2005

Posner gives Blink a thumbs down

U Chicago's Judge Posner is unimpressed by Malcolm Gladwell's new book, Blink. His review is also funny.
Gladwell also discusses alternative approaches in dating. (The procession of his anecdotes here becomes dizzying.) One is to make a list of the characteristics one desires in a date and then go looking for possible dates that fit the characteristics. The other, which experiments reveal, plausibly, to be superior, is to date a variety of people until you find someone with whom you click. The distinction is not between articulate thinking and intuitive thinking, but between deduction and induction. If you have never dated, you will not have a good idea of what you are looking for. As you date, you will acquire a better idea, and eventually you will be able to construct a useful checklist of characteristics. So this is yet another little tale that doesn't fit the ostensible subject of his book. Gladwell does not discuss "love at first sight," which would be a good illustration of the unreliability of rapid cognition.


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