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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 7. Januar 2002

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Malcolm Gladwell schrieb über Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft und Medizin für die "Washington Post", deren Bürochef in New York er anschließend wurde. Derzeit schreibt er für den "New Yorker".

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"The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life," writes Malcolm Gladwell, "is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviours spread just like viruses do." Although anyone familiar with the theory of mimetics will recognise this concept, Gladwell's The Tipping Point has quite a few interesting twists on the subject.

For example, Paul Revere was able to galvanise the forces of resistance so effectively in part because he was what Gladwell calls a "Connector": he knew just about everybody, particularly the revolutionary leaders in each of the towns that he rode through. But Revere "wasn't just the man with the biggest Rolodex in colonial Boston", he was also a "Maven" who gathered extensive information about the British. He knew what was going on and he knew exactly whom to tell. The phenomenon continues to this day--think of how often you've received information in an e-mail message that had been forwarded at least half a dozen times before reaching you.

Gladwell develops these and other concepts (such as the "stickiness" of ideas or the effect of population size on information dispersal) through simple, clear explanations and entertainingly illustrative anecdotes, such as comparing the pedagogical methods of Sesame Street and Blue's Clues, or explaining why it would be even easier to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with the actor Rod Steiger. Although some readers may find the transitional passages between chapters hold their hands a little too tightly, and Gladwell's closing invocation of the possibilities of social engineering sketchy, even chilling, The Tipping Point is one of the most effective books on science for a general audience in ages. It seems inevitable that "tipping point", like "future shock" or "chaos theory," will soon become one of those ideas that everybody knows--or at least knows by name. --Ron Hogan -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.

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Gladwell argues that many contemporary problems - from crime to teenage delinquency and traffic jams - behave like epidemics that are capable of sudden and dramatic changes in direction. Yet the right intervention at just the right time - the Tipping Point - can start a cascade of change and provide a method for developing strategies for everything from raising a child to running a company. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.

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In the mid-1990s, the city of Baltimore was attacked by an epidemic of syphilis. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Von Ein Kunde am 20. Februar 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The main problem with this book, for me at least, is that it just isn't substantial enough to be a BOOK. While the original article, which first appeared in the New Yorker quite a while back, was absorbing, delightful, and even thought-provoking, but I suppose my initial positive reaction was mostly due to the fact that it was a MAGAZINE ARTICLE, and I read it--as most people read magazine articles--while eating a meal alone or commuting to work; that is to say, without sitting at my desk, pencil and notepad at hand, paying each word and every sentence my undivided attention. I don't of course wish to disparage journalism or books written by journalists, but "The Tipping Point" suffers, I think, from everything that can go wrong when one adopts, expands, or simply reprints a newspaper or magazine article into a full-length book. The arguments Gladwell presents, when they're surrounded not by cute and funny New Yorkers cartoons but between the cardboards of a hardcover book, seem lightweight at best, and commonsensical, perhaps even farfetched, at worst. A fellow reviewer below has already noted the strange absence of any discussion of memes. Allow me to add that in a book that purports to reveal the little hidden mechanics that bring about tidal-wave changes in our social behavior and our society, the absence of detailed examination of memetics is simply unforgivable. (It'd be like writing a book that claims to talk about 20th-century physics but skips any mention of quantum mechanics.) In addition, some of the "scientific" methods employed by Gladwell seems dubious when they're not simply quixotic.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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... I found that I could not not review this book. After all, I am currently wearing Hush Puppies, and belong to a major religion that was born out of what Malcolm Gladwell might have described as a 'tipping point' thousands of years ago. In this impulse, Gladwell echoes the words of Margaret Mead, who once said 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.' This is the tipping point principle.
Gladwell's writing style is up-beat and popular - he is a staff writer for the New Yorker, and that style is clearly present in his writing here. Thus, those who appreciate the New Yorker will tend to like this book; those who don't, won't. Gladwell occasionally plays a bit loose with the documentation, and relies much more an anecdotal and consensus opinions than necessarily getting strong, documented proof. Then again, with a principle like the tipping point, this might not be the most important thing in any event - any hard, cold statistical data of the early Christian movement might have dismissed this wandering band of a dozen troublemakers as insignificant.
Some of Gladwell's conclusions are likewise problematic, again based on a more intuitive approach that will appeal to some and not to others. In particular, I would question his liberality of accepting drug use; while one might agree that the war on drugs goes in directions that are less helpful while other problems loom large, I'm not convinced (nor does Gladwell's argument seem very strong in this direction) that permitting or encouraging children this experience is the best course.
Some have begun describing the recent Hurricane Katrina disaster as a tipping point for the economy, but whether this will be a tipping point for good or bad, one cannot say.
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I read this book in part of one day - it's a good, quick read. Unlike some of the people who didn't care for the book - I never read the New Yorker article. It may be that the book doesn't add enough new info to excite folks who have read that article. But to me the book threw out a good number of new ideas and concepts very quickly and very clearly. I found his ability to draw a nexus between things that, on the surface seem very divergent, was very interesting, and he did it smoothly, without jumping around a lot.
The thrust of the book is that there are three things that can converge to bring about dramatic and perhaps unexpectedly fast changes in our society. These are the context (the situational environment - especially when it's near the balance or 'tipping point'), the idea, and the people involved. His point is that very small changes in any or several of the context, the quality of the idea (which he calls 'stickiness', ie how well the idea sticks), or whether the idea reaches a very small group of key people can trigger a dramatic epidemic of change in society.
"In a given process or system some people matter more than others." (p.19). "The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts." (p.33).
He divides these gifted people into three categories: Connectors, Mavens and Salespeople. "Sprinkled among every walk of life ... are a handful of people with a truly extraordinary knack of making friends and acquaintances. They are Connectors." (p. 41). "I always keep up with people." (p. 44 quoting a "Connector").
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