My brother hates, sorry that’s such a strong word. Let me start again. My brother despises, shew, that sounds even worse. Anyway, you get the picture of his feelings. What’s it towards? Books or ideas or talks like Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” or “Outliers“. Now for some context, he’s an economist (I think) or alien (I’m sure) but he finds these kinds of theories incomplete or data used differently to the way he’d use it, and therefore potentially misleading. I won’t go into the specifics. I generally am gullible when it comes to him, and because I assume he’s a genius (as aliens would be), I need to be 150 percent convinced of my facts before I even start arguing about these sorts of ideas. Needless to say, I still read the books and listen to the talks…just with a little more cynicism than usual.
I do love good story-telling though, especially humorous, easy-listening, inspirational, or thought-provoking, so I do enjoy Malcolm Gladwell’s Ted Talks (and his books). I listened to “Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce” recently…well again…okay for the umpteenth time. It’s over 15 years old but I love it.
It’s a reminder of how we sometimes don’t know what we want. We may think we know, but we’re so limited by our own mind’s ideas and known choices that we can’t think of anything past the known options. “People don’t know what they want…A critically important step in understanding our own desires and tastes is to realise that we cannot always explain what we want deep down.” Sometimes we know that we want different but we just not sure what that even means; it’s just a feeling we have and can’t describe.
This talk also always reminds me that there is no such thing as “perfect.” It depends on one’s taste, likes, desires or wants. And if we remove this idea of perfection, we can appreciate the variety that’s presented to us. Now, I hate choice. I’m generally about efficiency…another term for laziness…but given this thinking, it does open me up to being willing to try different things; foods, experiences, shows, or even books. How else will I know if I like something? How else would I know I even wanted that particular choice without being open to it?
While I’m not focused on the stats or research particulars in story-tellings such as this, I love the lessons I can always take away from it.
Plus, it means no arguments from Big Brother (insert smirk here).