Sunday, January 11, 2009

More thoughts on Outliers

Sometimes the initial read lulls you into a false sense of greatness about the book. A quick re-read is often eye opening. Although the books Outliers is quite interesting to read, realistically it did not tell me something that I did not know earlier. Let me summarize the key points in the book for you

  • Once your IQ is greater than a certain level, it does not really matter how high it is. What matters more is the amount of hard work you put in and in some cases your ability to interact with people and influence them
  • The economic and social status of your parents, does play a role in shaping your personality and hence decides to a certain extent your success level
  • Many times success is about being at the right place at right time, not really about how smart you are. e.g:- The relative prosperity of the generation post the Great Depression in US

All this is hidden behind an interesting array of statistics and behavioral studies. But ultimately this is what it amounts to. Thinking back , all of Malcolm Gladwell's books have left me a bit confused. There is no strong conclusion, no clear point established.

When talking about geniuses , why not compare say a Diego Armando Maradona and Richard P Feynman. What is the common thread that binds them, how did they become the way they are ? IQ ? Can't be . I don't know if sporting geniuses have great IQs. So there has to be more to genius than IQ and hard work. Why do so many of them hover so close to self-destruct button ?

Now that would have been an interesting analysis to read. What say thou ? :)

Still recommend reading Outliers though. Pretty decent read !!

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