Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

June Books 4) The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

A very interesting and short book on how epidemics - particularly epidemics of ideas, the kind of thing we now call memes - spread among humanity. Gladwell identifies three distinct groups of people who become instrumental in selling innovation (or indeed decay) to the rest of us: Mavens, who just love collecting knowledge and shring it; Connectors, who are the vectors for transmitting new things to other people; and Salesmen, who are the persuaders necessary for a critical mass of Connectors to take on the ideas of the Mavens. It's not a perfect typology - I think I have some elements of both Maven and Connector, and a small amount of Salesman, and also I think that there are cases of quite different diffusion (and Gladwell indeed gives some examples which don't actually fit). It also struck me that I had read a fair bit of this before, whether in newspaper extracts of Gladwell's writing or in other books. But I'm very sympathetic to the basic point, which is that the crucial determinant of whether ideas become generally accepted is more often the way in which they come to be presented to the population as a whole, rather than their actual truth content. And it is breezily written, and as I said mercifully short.
Tags: bookblog 2012

  • Gemini, by Dorothy Dunnett

    Second paragraph of third chapter: As they progressed, Nicholas kept seeing faces he knew. A goldsmith. A shipmaster. A chorister from Trinity…

  • Caprice and Rondo, by Dorothy Dunnett

    Second paragraph of third chapter: Because the Mission travelled by road and arrived, by intent, on the Sabbath, its ears and eyes were spared the…

  • To Lie With Lions, by Dorothy Dunnett

    Second paragraph of third chapter: Nicholas de Fleury was not brought to Ham in bonds, nor deprived of his senses, but he was under guard, and had…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.