Blink Reflection #4

Oh boy, the first few pages of this section were incredibly boring to me. The biography of a chair wasn’t what I’d call exciting. Of course, the section about this chair was able to delve into consumer ideology, just in an out of the box way. I didn’t like how Gladwell approached this, as he could have used something else that wasn’t well received by the public at first, then turned into a producer phenomenon. Most people don’t like change; many things can be demonstrated by this. Even in this modern area, things are constantly being produced that go against the status quo but are eventually bought into. The Aeron chair is a good example of consumer feedback of new inventions. However, I do think Gladwell should have been able to weave something more engrossing into this section than a chair.

Gladwell describes the next big situation very well. A young black man shuffling around suspiciously late at night in the Bronx. A Street Crimes Unit consisting of policemen patrolling the neighborhood in search of lawbreakers. Due to many unfortunate circumstances and negative thin-slicing, the police officers end up chasing an innocent man, and emptying their magazine into him. Although the book was written in 2005, and the actual incident was in 1999, it seems as though these kind of events are still relevant today. Unfortunately, for this man he was at the disadvantage to the officers thought process as soon as the officers saw he was black. There is no doubt to me that while you may not be conscious of these things, it is indoctrinated deep within your subconscious that minorities such as black people and brown people have the capacity to commit crimes more so than a white person. Add onto the fact that Diallo was in the Bronx neighborhood late at night in New York City, a major metropolitan area where crime is above average in other areas. All these factors contributed to the thought process of the four police officers who spotted Diallo. Especially when you are in a dangerous situation, you jump to conclusions and your mind won’t process information right. So, these officers made the mistake of only blinding seeing this man as a threat. This story was my favorite out of the whole book as I felt it was very relevant to the occurrences happening today. Many policemen these days seem to jump to conclusions and don’t think about other possibilities when confronted with a seemingly dangerous situation, which is only dangerous in their eyes to due stereotypes present.