kottke.org posts about Blink

A pair of 2011 blog comments by "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev"Apr 19 2013

UMass Dartmouth is reporting that "a person being sought in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing has been identified as a student registered at UMass Dartmouth":

Umass Dart Closed

I don't know that there's any verified report that registered student is bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but I found a blog post from August 2011 that suggests that Tsarnaev was participating in the school's summer reading program for incoming first-year students. The students were participating in a group discussion blog while reading Malcolm Gladwell's Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. The post in question was written by UMass Dartmouth English teacher Shelagh Smith on the concept of thin-slicing as it pertained to the case of the West Memphis Three. The post reads, in part:

I believe that thin slicing put them in jail. It helped an entire community make a rash decision and justify their actions in convicting three teens of murder. Once the town was able to identify the bogeyman, they could rest easy again.

But it all went horribly wrong. The real murderers were never found. These young men went into prison at 18 years old. Today, they walked out at 36 years old.

Being different - being unique - is a right we're supposed to enjoy in this country. But what we can't control is how people view us.

So what do we do about that? Is there anything we can do about it?

In response, a commenter listing his name as "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev" posted the following about a week and a half after the original posting:

In this case it would have been hard to protect or defend these young boys if the whole town exclaimed in happiness at the arrest. Also, to go against the authorities isn't the easiest thing to do. Don't get me wrong though, I am appalled at the situation but I think that the town was scared and desperate to blame someone. It's because of stories like this and such occurrences that make a positive change in this world. I'm pretty sure there won't be anymore similar tales like this. In any case, if they do, people won't stand quiet, i hope.

Tsarnaev also made another comment in another thread on the blog a few minutes earlier in which he offered a critique of Gladwell's book:

While I understand and agree with most of the concepts that Gladwell explained in his book, there are several ideas of his that I cannot fathom or just choose not to believe. Yes, this book was very interesting but the idea that a person can predict whether you and your partner are going to be together in the future is honestly a little hard to believe. Sure, if you put two obvious celebrities in a room talking about how they're going to adopt six children, that's just not going to work out. And the idea that a more experienced doctor is more likely to be sued is likely to happen because they would have way more patients and more time in the work force. "Thin-slicing" and other concepts made me want to keep reading.

David echoes my reaction to seeing aNov 27 2006

David echoes my reaction to seeing a Zune in person for the first time this weekend: "I just saw a Zune, and guess what? Its a piece of shit." I usually give people a hard time for making snap judgments about technology that takes time to get to know (comments like "this interface sucks" after 20 seconds of use make my eyes go rolling), but the Zune...it's like the story of the Getty's Greek kouros that Gladwell tells in Blink: one look and you know it's wrong. Andre has been trying a Zune out for the last couple of weeks and doesn't mind it even though he's giving up on it.

Faces are now being searched at USAug 18 2006

Faces are now being searched at US airports for suspicious microexpressions. Psychologist Paul Ekman helped set up the program and was previously one of Malcolm Gladwell's subjects in The Naked Face and Blink.

Leonardo DiCaprio set to star in movieNov 10 2005

Leonardo DiCaprio set to star in movie adaptation of Malcolm Gladwell's Blink. Huh? (thx, matt)

Is it possible to use thin slicing (Nov 07 2005

Is it possible to use thin slicing (as detailed in Gladwell's Blink) to make better bets about the outcome of NBA basketball games? The most important factors would appear to be FG%, turnover rate, offensive rebounding rate, and free throw attempts. (via truehoop)

Malcolm Gladwell on why focus groups suck.Sep 06 2005

Malcolm Gladwell on why focus groups suck. Focus groups are an attempt by management to reduce risk (and with it, potential reward)...Gladwell says that management should instead trust their creatives, be patient, and tolerate uncertainty.

Short article about Pixar on the 10thAug 25 2005

Short article about Pixar on the 10th anniversary of Toy Story. Their work process takes a cue from improv comedy by opening up possibilities with "yes, and..." rather than "no, but..." Gladwell talks about this aspect of improv at length in Blink.

Harnessing the power of Malcolm Gladwell's BlinkAug 04 2005

Harnessing the power of Malcolm Gladwell's Blink to win at poker.

Good interview with Malcolm Gladwell about Blink on Powells.comJul 21 2005

Good interview with Malcolm Gladwell about Blink on Powells.com.

Audio of Malcolm Gladwell's keynote from SXSW 2005Apr 14 2005

Audio of Malcolm Gladwell's keynote from SXSW 2005 is available for streaming or download.

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