Blink Reflection #5

Gladwell talks about habituation in the next few pages, albeit brief. I do like the topic though and I wished he stayed on it a bit longer. I mostly learned about habituation in biology though I had some background on it before, so it was nice to see it again. This time was with people though which I prefer to the behavior of animals. One thing I liked that Gladwell pointed out about the Diallo case was that the police were confused at Diallo’s behavior. Caroll, one of the officers said that he was “amazed” that Diallo was standing there as the cops approached him. This should have been the first signal that Diallo was just hanging out, not a crime boss out for a smoke. Another thing I noticed in text was the quote provided by Gavin de Becker, another officer. “He’s out there alone. At twelve-thirty in the morning. In this lousy neighborhood. Alone. A black guy.” This quote to me really shows the negative thin-slicing of this man. He uses racial stereotypes which in the end killed this man. These stereotypes are so ingrained into us as a society it has such harmful effects, which can be seen today.

The classical music section bored me also. It only really reinforced the Diallo case, though less extreme. It shows the judgement of women in the classical music industry and how they are not able to use trombones as well as men due to small lung capacity. I feel like Gladwell droned on in this section, although it might have been myself with the desperation to finish the book.

I did enjoy the final sentence of the book in the afterword. It gave me a lot to think about, especially about my future character in hopefully some sort of psychology. Once we learn the most we can about the human mind, society as a whole must overcome the limits of our minds. I disagree with Gladwell in the argument between methodical and spontaneous thinking, where he seems to favor spontaneous. I think that it all depends on the situation of whether you should come out with a well thought plan, or rely on your instincts. However, I do know that when the time to make a decision comes, you must make that choice.

On Gladwell’s visit to Harvard Law, our young minds today are more open minded than any previous generation. We yearn to learn, and to become so much better than the ones who came before us. We want to fix the system, and I think Gladwell gave some nice ideas on pushing things forward, such as his opinions on how court cases should be run.

Overall, I think this book was alright for me. If I could edit out certain sections, I would because that would make it so much easier for me to read and enjoy. At times I felt Gladwell added unnecessary or just boring anecdotes. I enjoyed the afterword more than the rest of the book.