Malcolm Gladwell is interested in what makes some people more successful than others. Overall, how would you describe his thesis, or central premise? Do you agree or disagree with his ideas? What does Gladwell mean by the term "outlier"?
Michael Thomsen 1 No one knows why we have brains. Daniel Wolpert, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, theorizes the fundamental purpose of our brains is to govern movement, something necessary to humans but which trees and flowers can live without.
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Moonwalking with Einstein is a chronicle of his year training to compete in the U. Memory Championships—an arcane competition among adherents to the method of loci, an ancient memory technique that makes it possible to retain great volumes of random information.
According to the theory, more commonly known as the Memory Palace, the human brain is capable of retaining huge amounts of information subconsciously. But we lose all the less immediate information, even when we want to remember: According to the method of the Memory Palace, first formulated by the Greek poet Simonedes, hard-to-retain facts can be pinned in place by transforming them into visual icons in an imagined location.
Each fact would become a representative image--the more bizarre and lascivious the better. These images would be placed in a childhood home or a college dormitory, any intimately remembered location.
In this way memory becomes a process of traveling through a non-sequitur mental landscape instead of a flailing for disappearing facts. After a chance visit at the Weightlifting Hall of Fame, Foer started wondering if there was a Hall of Fame for smart people.
Some cursory searches led him to the U. Memory Championships, where a small and eccentric group of mental athletes compete at memorizing long strings of two-digit numbers, the order of cards in a deck, and matching 99 faces and names after five minutes of exposure.
Even Foer could become a competitor.
He starts with the Greeks who considered memorization an essential part of human learning. Today we know where to look for answers, but the Greeks carried the answers within as instantly recallable memories. But what have we traded away? Before beginning his memory training Foer visits K. Anderson and his aids spend three days studying Foer before his training, and again a year later after he has set the U.
In fact, Foer recalls taking the subway home after a dinner in downtown D. Indeed, Foer describes a few people with brains predisposed to having powerful memories in dysfunctional terms.
He was the subject of a seminal neuropsychological study on the brain and memory, and yet he had trouble holding a job and experienced many of the same traits that would later be ascribed to autistic savants. And yet he required a caretaker his father all his life and never held a job or moved beyond the thrill of memorizing town populations and mountain elevations.
At one point he has to stop using the image of his grandmother in his card memorizing routine because the vulgar actions he subjects her to are too disturbing. Cooke similarly excised his mother from his practice, preferring instead celebrities and sports figures who can be contorted, defiled, and penetrated without rippling any darker waters.
What rescues these discrepant fantasies is the tie to a rather dull system of real world meanings, which might not have been worth remembering in any case. Foer writes in a conversational but distant vernacular, like someone telling a curious story at a cocktail party and all the while talking around the less entertaining truths below the surface.
Given enough time, all science writing—no matter how casually or clinically it is presented—winds up being wrong. Likewise, any work of participatory journalism that finds the undertaking more interesting than the author is bound for obscurity.
Foer is moving all around some of the most personal ideas in human experience--the intersection of the erotic imagination, nostalgia, lust for new experiences, and the tiny electrical impulses that accompany them.
When Foer wonders if the loss of poetic immersion once common in antiquity is debilitating today, I immediately think of Lolita.
And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita. This is how we can all have such different experiences of fixed historical events—the election of a president or two hours in a movie theater. This is why both the places that form the locus of memory, and the ghostly signifiers that populate them, are unique to the holder of the memory--always a childhood home or school.
And yet all we are ever doing is moving from one place to the other, creating muscle memory for a neuron to send out an electrical pilgrim from one place to another. When I criticize Foer for being impersonal, it is a product of my own confessional instincts.
In the same way that science writing winds up being wrong in some way or another, few of my own scraps of memory have been true.Outliers and the secret sauce by Dale Hobson on February 20th, Part of my job is bean-counting, and the beans I count are you, that is, your visits to barnweddingvt.com Knowing where you go on the site, how your get there, etc., helps us shape the kind of news and entertainment we create, how and where we put it .
Start studying SOC-S Final Outliers notes. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Search. How does he link this idea to his theory of outliers and success?
she showed the secret to learning math. In this must-listen book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, students, and businesspeople - both seasoned and new - that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called "grit".
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Stylistically, it's like a 90,word essay by George Orwell, with a bit of help from Jonathan Kellerman. Dr. Michael Shermer is the Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism He is the author of Why People Believe Weird Things, Why Darwin Matters, The Science of .