Thursday, January 12, 2006

Think!

In answer to beststelling author Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink!, there is a new book coming out later this month called
Think! by Michael R. LeGault. From the Book Description on Amazon.ca:

This isn't the time to Blink.

It's time to

THINK!

-- before it's too late.

Outraged by the downward spiral of American intellect and culture, Michael R. LeGault offers the flip side of Malcolm Gladwell's bestselling phenomenon, Blink, which theorized that our best decision-making is done on impulse, without factual knowledge or critical analysis. If bestselling books are advising us to not think, LeGault argues, it comes as no surprise that sharp, incisive reasoning has become a lost art in the daily life of Americans. Somewhere along the line, the Age of Reason morphed into the Age of Emotion; this systemic erosion is costing time, money, jobs, and lives in the twenty-first century, leading to less fulfillment and growing dysfunction

3 comments:

Richard Rowan said...

It is interesting that the "think" author puts thinking in opposition to Gladwell's "blinking," when they are both inseparable parts of a subject we call decision-making. The argument over which part works better is subjective, but may help people think about blinking, and vice versa.

Thanks for the post.

Connie said...

I agree, the two are not mutually exclusive. Gladwell is describing a psychological phenomenon, explaining how it can both help and hinder us, and giving examples on how to use rational thought plus other techniques to avoid the problems with "blinking". If anything, Blink! is a cautionary tale.

Seems to me LeGault is just trying to ride on Gladwell's coattails to hit his own tipping point. Ah, but then I haven't read the book. Could just be his publicists positioning it thus.

legault said...

I'm the author of Think and Connie is right--you have to read the book. I say in the first chapter that intuition vs. reason is a false dichotomy. However, you will look in vain for one mention of critical thinking and reason in Gladwell's Blink. Gladwell distills intuition (thin slicing) as a power unto itself. I also state that the main point of the book is not to refute Blink--the case is pretty much decided in favor of critical thinking so it would be a dull book just to compile case studies that prove the superiority of think over blink---a few years ago for instance medical professional thought ulcers wre caused by stress, but now we know they're caused by bacterial infection....My main point(s) is that critical thinking has declined in society while thinking based on intuition has risen; and perhaps the major point--the type of thought determines the kind of society we live in. It's not about politics, it's about the way we think that gives us the United States, France or Nigeria.
Michael R. LeGault