Friday, July 1, 2011

Outliers: The story of success - by Malcolm Gladwell

Leído entre: Jun 23, 2011 – Jul 01, 2011 (8 días).

Lo que me gustó: Todo. Muy fácil de leer, contenido entretenido y que te pone a pensar, ni muy corto ni muy largo... Great book.

Lo que no me gustó: N/A.

En general: Muy recomendado.

Amazon lo tiene aquí.

Notas y citas:
"When Bill [Joy] was a little kid, he wanted to know everything about everything way before he should've even known he wanted to know," his father, William, says. (p.42)

Habla de que hay algunos puntos entre los que "vale la pena" diferenciar, hablando de IQ, pero que arriba del último punto, las diferencias no son tan relevantes (no por estar mucho más arriba en la escala, vas a tener mucho más éxito):
Langan's IQ is 30 percent higher than Einstein's. But that doesn't mean Langan is 30 percent smarter than Einstein. That's ridiculous. All we can say is that when it comes to thinking about really hard things like physics, they are both clearly smart enough. (p.80)

Sobre ese mismo punto:
The psychologist Barry Schwartz recently proposed that elite schools give up their complex admissions process and simply hold a lottery for everyone above the threshold. "Put people into two categories,", Schwartz says. "Good enough and not good enough. The ones who are good enough get put into a hat. And those who are not good enough get rejected." (p.83-84)

Hablando de una serie de pueblos en Kentucky donde por mucho tiempo todo el mundo parecía muy peleonero y se mataba por cualquier cosa:
... and the consensus appears to be that that region was plagued by a particularly virulent strain of what sociologists call a "culture of honor." (p.166)

Siguiendo con el análisis de los pueblos donde todos se mataban, habla de cómo los acentos (formas de hablar/pronunciar) parecen funcionar de la misma forma que los comportamientos (heredados culturalmente), y lo relaciona:
Whatever mechanism passes on speech patterns probably passes on behavioral and emotional patterns as well. (p.175)

Hace referencia a las "Hofstede's Dimensions", en especial al "Power Distance Index" (PDI), que "is concerned with attitudes toward hierarchy, specifically with how much a particular culture values and respects authority" (p.204-205)
Hofstede, similarly, references a study done a few years ago that compared German and French manufacturing plants that were in the same industry ad were roughly the same size. The French plants had, on average, 26 percent of their employees in management and specialist positions; the Germans, 16 percent. The French, furthermore, paid their top management substantially more than the Germans did. What we are seeing in that comparison, Hofstede argued, is a difference in cultural attitudes toward hierarchy. The French have a power distance index twice that of the Germans. They require and support hierarchy in a way the Germans simply don't. (p.205-206)

En el capítulo acerca de cómo las aerolíneas orientales son (tal vez "eran") más propensas a accidentes, propone que en gran parte el problema es porque las personas "abajo" del capitán no reaccionan y/o actúan como deberían cuando creen que el capitán está haciendo algo mal:
The Korean language has no fewer than six different levels of conversational address, depending on the relationship between the addressee and the addresser [...] The first officer would not have dared to use one of the more intimate or familiar forms when he addressed the captain. (p.214-215)
Western communication has what linguists call a "transmitter orientations" — that is, it is considered the responsibility of the speaker to communicate ideas clearly and unambiguously. [...] But Korea, like many Asian countries, is receiver oriented. It is up to the listener to make sense of what is being said. (p.216)

A bit random. Reforzando el punto de que el bagaje cultural es una influencia mucho más grande de lo que normalmente creeríamos:
In languages as diverse as Welsh, Arabic, Chinese, English and Hebrew, there is a reproducible correlation between the time required to pronounce numbers in a given language and the memory span of its speakers. (p.228)

También con respecto al punto pasado, menciona que para los asiáticos es mucho más sencillo efectuar operaciones aritméticas simples (e.g. suma) por la regularidad de su sistema numérico:

... for number above twenty, we put the "decade" first and the unit number second (twenty-one, twenty-two), whereas for the teens, we do it the other way around (fourteen, seventeen, eighteen). The number system in English is highly irregular. Not so in China, Japan, and Korea. They have a logical counting system. Eleven is ten-one. Twelve is ten-two. Twenty-four is two-tens-four and so on. [...] The regularity of their number system also means that Asian children can perform basic functions, such as addition, far more easily. Ask an English-speaking seven-year-old to add thirty-seven plu twenty-two in her head, and she has to convert the words to numbers (37 + 22). Only then can she do the math: 2 plus 7 is 9 and 30 and 20 is 50, which makes 59. Ask an Asian child to add three-tens-seven and two-tens-two, and then the necessary equation is right there, embedded in the sentence. No number translation is necessary: It's five-tens-nine. (p.229)

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