Blink speed dating
I have to say that I still find some of the examples in that chapter hard to believe.
Believe it or not, it's because I decided, a few years ago, to grow my hair long.
What is going on inside our heads when we engage in rapid cognition? We live in a society dedicated to the idea that we're always better off gathering as much information and spending as much time as possible in deliberation.
As children, this lesson is drummed into us again and again: haste makes waste, look before you leap, stop and think. There are lots of situations--particularly at times of high pressure and stress--when haste does not make waste, when our snap judgments and first impressions offer a much better means of making sense of the world., and a few years ago they changed the way they diagnosed heart attacks.
You could also say that it's a book about intuition, except that I don't like that word.
In fact it never appears in "Blink." Intuition strikes me as a concept we use to describe emotional reactions, gut feelings--thoughts and impressions that don't seem entirely rational.
Imagine that I asked you to a play a very simple gambling game.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.But I think that what goes on in that first two seconds is perfectly rational.
It's thinking--its just thinking that moves a little faster and operates a little more mysteriously than the kind of deliberate, conscious decision-making that we usually associate with "thinking." In "Blink" I'm trying to understand those two seconds.Immediately, in very small but significant ways, my life changed.