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Thread: Book discussion anyone? Outliers by Gladwell

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    MomOfMany's Avatar
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    Default Book discussion anyone? Outliers by Gladwell

    My dh read this on his last plane trip and came home saying it was so good we needed to make it required reading for our high school boys. I read it and thought it was great too.

    I don't know anyone IRL to discuss it with though! LOL

    The discussion about corporations as people thread and whether Ryder had ever known finically difficulty reminded me that this forum might be the perfect place to discuss this book.

    A phrase I thoughht of and started using after reading this book, "People are always exclaiming that others should pull themselves up by their bootstraps. All the while they ignore that those people haven't been given boots."

    Now the book is NOT a woe is me book. But it does give literal graphics that success is not about pulling up by our bootstraps. It's about the near miraculousness of opportunities combined with a tremendous amount of free time to put in hard work. A fascinating read. It's made us rethink some things and glad for some other things we might be doing right.

    So. Has anyone else read it? Care to chitchat about it?
    Martha
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    I have read the book. This is a very well written book that tried to explain the classic confusion among the society "What makes people successful?". Is it really the DNA or Luck or a combination of factors that we never really had the time to analyze. I actually used this book in one of my business classes. We had to pick a successful business person and see what they possessed that made them successful. Why this person was different and how they made a difference.

    "For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath." In plain english you can find the explanation for this in Wikipedia. Here it is "The Matthew effect in sociology is the phenomenon that "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer". Those who possess power and economic or social capital can leverage those resources to gain more power or capital. The Matthew effect results in a power law distribution of resources.

    10000 hr Rule: Every one stands a chance to succeed if they are willing to work hard for that. A person stands a better chance of succcess when they find out early what they are after, and put in the 10000 hrs to perfect the trade. Nobody can ever achieve excellence with out practicing a complex task for long hours.

    He also explains the effects of cultural legacy on one's success. He laid out the story of Korean Airlines unusually high crash rate in 1990's due to it's hierarchical culture which prevented a proper communication in the cockpit between the Captain and the First officers because of the rigid power structure among the pilots. This was really an eye opening story. Once they changed the training methods and communication protocol, Korean Airlines has gone on to become one of the safest airlines to fly.

    Gladwell seeks to disabuse us of the notion that genius and greatness are predominantly a function of innate ability and IQ. He rightly notes that while IQ is certainly a contributor, it reaches a "point of diminishing returns" after a while: once people score about 130, IQ becomes less important and "intangibles" become more important. The book, then, focuses on what these "intangibles" are. Gladwell suggests that things like what income level, culture, and time of a child's birth are important contributors to success, as well as a person's tenacity and agility.

    Loved the book!
    Last edited by alleycat; 12-13-2011 at 06:51 AM.
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    Great review! Sounds like an excellent read. This book is going on the next amazon order.

    Thank you both.

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    ryoder is offline King / Queen
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    I was going to go into my personal financial struggles that I have overcome in my life but decided that it is not worth the time.
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    I'm requesting it via inter-library loan, everyone might be finished before I even get started lol.


    **EDIT** Yeah! I'm in the book club I decided to go to the library across town and get it myself, I also had a nice email gift from a member here when I got home- a digital copy! So, I'm all set, I'll start tonight!
    Last edited by cookderosa; 12-12-2011 at 09:02 PM.
    Jennifer
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    MomOfMany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryoder View Post
    I was going to go into my personal financial struggles that I have overcome in my life but decided that it is not worth the time.
    Huh? Then do so. But before you hype yourself too much, look deeper into the events that unraveled and ask yourself honestly if you were the sole factor in overcoming them.

    This book is NOT about how some just have it easier and the rest are screwed.

    This book is about how success doesn't happen in a vacuum. For example. Bill Gates had an amazing, seriously universal alignment of luck going for him. Going to one of the only or maybe three elite private schools in the nation wi a computer club and living within walks distance of one of the only universities at the time with available free computer time. BUT, and it's a huge but, Bill Gates wasn't the only student in that school or the only student within walking distance of the university. Though he was one of the select few to be offered free time from 2-5 am and was willing to sneak out of the house to do use it. LOL

    The book does point out that Bill Gates had to be willing to grab that opportunity and sweat to keep it. No one is suggesting otherwise.

    But there is a problem in suggesting that anyone could have been Bill Gates when the bottom line is that is simply not true. Only a very minuscule few even had that opportunity. And even Bill Gates felt that way and it's one of the reasons he founded so many education endowments.

    My dh and I have over come our share of hard times too. But I can't express clearly enough how much of a Mt Everest it is to do so alone and or without funding. I don't think we ever have done it alone, though we have done it without funding. At the very least, we have had each other. Thank God.
    Last edited by MomOfMany; 12-12-2011 at 11:14 PM.
    Martha
    Home Educating 7 sons & 3 daughters so far
    Yes, they're all ours!

    Credits from CC classes:
    eng 1113 freshman comp 1
    eng comp 2
    pos 1113 american fed gov't (I believe this was political sci.)
    spa 1103 spanish 1
    bio 2123 human ecology
    his 1493 american history civil war era - ore
    phi 1113 intro to philosophy
    soc 1113 intro to sociology
    total credits 24 hours for mom
    gpa 3.12

    Currently home schooling 2 oldest kids for:
    CLEP West Civ 1 = 50, 64
    CLEP West Civ 2 = 58, 60
    DSST Intro to Geology
    DSST Astronomy


    Need help deciding which of the big 3 to use? Then go look at Awesome Alissa's Pros/Cons of the Big 3 Comparison.

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    cookderosa's Avatar
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    captivated, first 150 pages last night and I couldn't put it down. First thing this morning I had my kids do the brick and blanket activity I then carefully explained the 10,000 hours theory. So far, so good.
    alleycat likes this.
    Jennifer
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    I can't wait to read this book either. i will have to order it after Christmas. I do like some of what others are saying about this. I have always said it is not what you know but who you know. Now I am seeing that it is not just what you know and who you know it is also what resources you can get access to.
    Linda
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    mrs.b is offline Count / Countess
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    I am going to pick up a copy of this during the next trip to the bookstore. To add to Lindagarr's statement, "it is not just what you know and who you know it is also what resources you can get access to," it sounds like the message is also "it is what you do with the resources once you have access." The book sounds interesting and motivational. Thank you for sharing!
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    PsychTestOut is offline Senior Squire
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    Thanks for the recommendation, I'll add this to me to-read list.

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