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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Where research overlaps 'life'

“As a writer, the best mindset is to be unafraid.” – Malcolm Gladwell

I read my first Gladwell book right after I had open heart surgery and I have to say that it’s not the best idea to do something like that because it’s difficult to heal when you keep tearing open your incision by reading something that makes you throw your arms wide apart and say "Oh my, I never thought of that!”

That book was Outliers: The Story of Success, and I couldn’t wait to have people visit me while I was recuperating so I could share things from the book with them.  Great "medicine" for the recovery process.   So, when Gladwell’s next book, What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures, was released, I rushed to get that one too.  

 Gladwell's books and articles often deal with the unexpected implications of research in the social sciences and make frequent and extended use of academic work, particularly in the areas of sociology, psychology, and social psychology.  And while that might sound dry, it’s absolutely the opposite and some of the most enjoyable and thought-provoking reading you might encounter.                
                                “All my books are optimistic,” Gladwell said.  “I wrote my first book when I was in my late 30s, and I had so much optimism to share by that time.”  As for the process behind his writing, he said, "I have two parallel things I'm interested in. One is, I'm interested in collecting interesting stories, and the other is I'm interested in collecting interesting research. What I'm looking for is cases where they overlap.” 

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