Book review: Outliers

I was looking forward to Malcolm Gladwell‘s Outliers when it first came out. Then I read various mixed reviews, so I pushed it down my reading queue.

(Notably, there’s no such operation in the classic queue model, is there? Maybe just adjusting priority in a priority queue?)
The book is fun to read, because the writing flows well and the questions are interesting. In that regard, it’s just like his earlier books.
Also just like his earlier books, I’m not 100% convinced. I always feel like in every chapter, there are some leaps of faith and/or logic from the initial statistics to the grand conclusion.
In this book, the author tapers his conclusions a lot more often. He says things like “granted, so-and-so had a lot more talent than most…” and then proceeds with his conclusion. It’s not clear how the weights divide between having more talent than most and being born at the right time of the year, or practicing 10,000 hours at your craft, etc.
So overall, while the book is fun to read, and I’m sure I’ll debate it with multiple people in the months to come, I’m luke-warm on it. It certainly has a ton of interesting questions, fascinating statistics, and fun research. It’s even inspiring in parts, since most of us don’t think we have a ton of talent in one area or another.
That’s a lot of good stuff for any book. But I’m not that satisfied with it, and besides the above, I can’t quite point out why.

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