I just gobbled up Malcom Gladwell's, Blink. It was one of those books that I make myself stretch out the read over a couple of days because I want to savour it. I'm someone who works from my stomach - if my gut says something, I usually listen so I found Gladwell's discussion on split-second knowledge and gut decisions to be fascinating.
His central thesis is that these ‚??blink‚?? decisions are made using the wealth of experience and knowledge that we have built up inside of us which is synthesized into useful information automatically and without always realizing that we‚??re doing it. Often people will say that they just know something but they can't explain why they know or feel a certain way. Gladwell claims that if you dig deeper into someone's gut response it will usually have a really rational explanation.
In one interesting case study though, he presents a tennis coach who after years of watching tennis can predict whether a serve will be an error or not the split second before it‚??s served. In that case, they've tried computer modelling and statistical charting and still are not as accurate in predicting a foul service as well as this man.
Then there's the case of the cops in New York City who shot a man forty-one times because they thought that he was about to open fire on them. The man, relatively new to the country and with poor English language skills, didn't react the way the police were used to which led them down a path of wrong decision after another. It turned out that the man was just standing on his stoop enjoying the cool evening air and what the cops thought was a gun was really his wallet.
So what do you do when you're a person like me, writing a book for the first time and you've got to make decisions but you have no experience (because you've never written a book before) to back those gut/blink decisions on?