June 17, 2005

Impressions in a Blink of an Eye

First impressions are powerful. In the first few seconds, we get and know things.

I am reading a fascinating book entitled Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. It is about rapid cognition, the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. Here’s how Gladwell describes it:

When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, "Blink" is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good.

As I was flipping through the pages of Blink in a bookstore, the name Sergiu Celibidache jumped right out at me. Talk about six degrees of separation. I met Celibidache while still a student at Curtis in Philadelphia. A cult-like figure, he was a brilliant conductor, who was either loved or hated. In the next few weeks, I will add a story on Celibidache under a title (first that comes to mind) Radical Differentiation.
I read the final chapter of Blink, and then I bought the book.


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