Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell
What I remember: (Contains spoilers if you've not read the book)
1. People born in the earlier months of the year (January - March) have a greater advantage over people born in the later half. For intellectual ability it evens out at around 6 or 7 years old, but for sports the advantage lasts longer because kids are selected to play from a younger age and given more training. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts because given more physical training they become better physically.
2. 10000 hours is how long it takes to become really good at something. This works out to roughly 10 years of hard work at that something.
3. A high IQ does not lead to immediate success (wah heng ah). Rather, it is a combination of social skills and empathic ability that leads to success. The advantage of high iq seems to peak at around 130. Oppenheimer was the example used in the book. He became the leading professor on the Manhattan project although he was caught trying to poison his professor in college.
4. Success depends also on origins and luck. Your cultural background, and race plays a part in determining your ability to succeed. One example was how parents from middle and high income families place a greater importance on their kids' education, bringing them to enrichment classes and tuition, filling their kids' time with activities and not leaving them to their own devices.
5. Culture also makes a huge difference in success. An example was how South Korean pilots had an air of politeness and deference in their communications with American control towers, failing to communicate their urgent fuel situation. This lead to many plane crashes before the problem was identified and rectified.
Okay in summary it's an okay book. Although thinking back now all the book really says is that you need to be born at the right time with a lot of time to practice and the right background and culture and if your parents are interested in your education and with some luck then you will be successful.
Think I should do this more often so that I won't forget what I've read immediately after reading it hahaha.