What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures
Brings together some of Gladwell's writing from The New Yorker in the past decade, including: the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill; the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz; spotlighting Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen; and the secrets… More »
Brings together some of Gladwell's writing from The New Yorker in the past decade, including: the bittersweet tale of the inventor of the birth control pill; the dazzling inventions of the pasta sauce pioneer Howard Moscowitz; spotlighting Ron Popeil, the king of the American kitchen; and the secrets of Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer." Gladwell also explores intelligence tests, ethnic profiling and "hindsight bias," and why it was that everyone in Silicon Valley once tripped over themselves to hire the same college graduate.« Less
Pt. 1: Obsessives, pioneers, and other varieties of minor genius. The pitchman: Ron Popeil and the conquest of the American kitchen -- The ketchup conundrum: mustard now comes in dozens of different varieties--why has ketchup stayed the same? -- Blowing up: how Nassim Taleb turned the inevitability of disaster into an investment strategy. -- True colors: hair dye and the hidden history of postwar America -- John Rock's error: what the inventor of the birth control pill didn't know about women's health -- What the dog saw: Cesar Millan and the movements of mastery -- Pt. 2: Theories, predictions and diagnoses. Open secrets: Enron, intelligence and the perils of too much information -- Million dollar Murray: why problems like homelessness may be easier to solve than to manage -- The picture problem: mammography, air power, and the limits of looking -- Something borrowed: should a charge of plagiarism ruin your life? -- Connecting the dots: the paradoxes of intelligence reform -- The art of failure: why some people choke and others panic -- Blowup: who can be blamed for a disaster like the Challenger explosion? No one, and we'd better get used to it -- Pt. 3: Personality, character and intelligence. Late bloomers: why do we equate genius with precocity? -- Most likely to succeed: how do we hire when we can't tell who's right for the job? -- Dangerous minds: criminal profiling made easy -- The talent myth: are smart people overrated? -- The New-Boy Network: what do job interviews really tell us? -- Troublemakers: what pit bulls can teach us about crime
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It was a textbook dog-biting case: unneutered, ill-trained, charged-up dogs with a history of aggression and an irresponsible owner somehow get loose and set upon a small child. The dogs had already passed through the animal bureaucracy of Ottawa, and the city could easily have prevented the second attack with the right kind of generalization - a generalization based not on breed but on the known and meaningful connection between dangerous dogs and negligent owners.
The kinds of dogs that kill people change over time, because the popularity of certain breeds changes over time. The one thing that doesn't change is the total number of the people killed by dogs. When we have more problems with pit bulls, it's not necessarily a sign that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dogs. It could just be a sign that pit bulls have become more numerous.
They were looking for people who had the talent to think ouside the box. It never occurred to them that, if everyone had to think outside the box, maybe it was the box that needed fixing.
One possibility is simply to hire and reward the smartest people. But the link between, say, IQ and job performance is distinctly underwhelming. . . . 'What IQ doesn't pick up is effectiveness at commonsense sorts of things, especially working with people,' Richard Wagner, a psychologist a Florida State University, says. 'In terms of how we evaluate schooling, everything is about working by yourself. If you work with someone else, it's called cheating. Once you get out in the real world, everything you do involves working with other people.'
in our zeal to correct what we believe to be the problems of the past, we end up creating new problems for the future.
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