Audio: Malcom Gladwell on the Science of Decision Making

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Malcolm Gladwell
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Malcom Gladwell speaks on ITConversation's Tech Nation - I've not listened to it yet, but the last one he did was fantastic, so i'll take a punt on this one being worthwhile also..

We have two kinds of thought, Malcolm says. The first is the rational, deliberate and conscious thought that we analyze and cherish. The other is the kind of thinking that occurs below the level of awareness, and it doesn't happen slowly and deliberately, but really quickly. We tend to dismiss the latter in our society, but in the past few years psychologists have referred to this as the product of the adaptive unconscious. It's a kind of a big computer that does all the background tasks. It's powerful and fast, but because it's not part of our consciousness, it's rather mysterious.

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Tipping point was excellent and Blink was a very good, if a startlingly quick, read. Look forward to listening to this.

"Woman's intuition"

Next time your wife tells you something that she can't actually give you a reason for, try just GOING with it....

That's not by way of being a joke. Gladwell does sometimes have and expound on unusual ideas (by others' reckonings), but in some ways I think he taps into a "collective subconscious". This sort of thing has been discussed down the centuries, and no one's ever been able to disprove (well, they haven't PROVED it either!) that some people seem to act on information they couldn't possibly have acquired by any logical means.

"Flying by the seat of your pants" isn't a really accepted way of dealing with life, but some people seem to have a remarkable ability to do just that. Without getting too deeply into some fairly abstruse philosophical doctrines, I will note that there are still extant a few groups which have for many hundreds of years done their best to implement utilization of those "unrecognized levels" - and while none of them are what the general "civilized" individual calls successful, there's nothing to say they aren't on a path to outlast the rest of us.

There is a bit of an explaination

vkaryl, good point. He does go some way to explain this phenomenemen^Heffect with the discussions on "thin slicing" - it appears some times our subconcious can detect and select the one or two *important* pieces of information from an event and base a decision on those while if we conciously tried to make a decision the amount of data would be too great so we see it as magical.

If you have ever seen http://www.johnedward.net/ TV show followed by http://www.derrenbrown.co.uk/ you will see what I mean - you think the former can really talk to the dead until you see the latter (a very talented mentalist and magician) do the same thing using trickery and non verbal cues :O)

Thin slicing made me think about analysing search results. G makes a big thing about the amount of things that are taken into account for serps (everything from PR to H1 tags), but really there are only a few that *really* make a difference. Looking around the forums it appears you need to be a PHD to do this stuff (and that may be true for less than 1% of hyper competitive markets) but in reality it is a fair bit easier than that. After all, I have done pretty ok despite not having a clue about the science and being dopey with maths just by doing basics and getting whatever links I can. Even Tabkes whatver steps to millions or whatver its called apparently actually does work for lots of people.

I think that is why people like PR - you only need to look at one piece of data. Maybe that is why atkins is so popular - "don't eat carbs", no need to look at the back of packets ;O)

Hunches

have been considered everything from witchcraft to science for a long time. If Gladwell does nothing else, perhaps he will help legitimize the odd hunch.... be nice sometime to be able to explain to my husband that "it's okay honey - Malcom Gladwell says it's science, not a hunch"! *laughing*

[Actually "Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone", and valuable simply to reframe one's attitude toward some previous off the wall ideas....]

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