Two years ago, I received an email that had some fun facts about the bible. I thought it interesting and sent it along to a friend who is also my (self proclaimed) online bible study teacher. He replied in his typically concise manner : “Thanks for the attachment – it’s interesting, but it’s not accurate.”
Everybody knows not to believe everything they read, but many times we still fall victim to it. Ok, more accurately, I still fall victim to it. Which is why when I come across a good book now, I wonder about its accuracy.
A friend gave this book to Dan (Thanks Kenny!) and I’ll have to say that I wasn’t impressed with its cover. Outliers. What’s that? The story of success. Yet another self help book?
Then Dan and I started on the book together. As in we sat down in bed and started reading it together.
It’s a rare thing for us to do and to do it for an entire chapter, even rarer. That sounds a little wrong but I mean that most literally and in a literary way. I have an innate competitive streak which makes me want to rush through a page so I finish first. (yes yes, very primary school behaviour) In that process, I sometimes skip skim paragraphs that may be crucial to the plot.
Anyway, after we finished reading the first chapter together, I realised I actually read every single line. I forgot to be competitive because the way it was written made for a very compelling read. I didn’t skip skim paragraphs because everything in there was an interesting contribution to explaining outliers.
So what is an outlier : “Outlier” is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience. In the summer, in Paris, we expect most days to be somewhere between warm and very hot. But imagine if you had a day in the middle of August where the temperature fell below freezing. That day would be outlier.” – Excerpt from the book’s website.
And the outliers in question are men and women who do things that are out of the ordinary. The story of their successes. Is it all ability? Luck/opportunity? Demographic advantage? What is it.
It’s all very thought provoking and written in an easy to read manner. A little like a detective novel almost at some points – find the outliers and nose around the hows and whys.
The only thing, is that I wonder if all the statistics and lists are accurate but am too lazy to check it out. But it’s still a really good read.