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Outliers. How Success is a Community Sport

Outliers. How Success is a Community Sport

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is an interesting read. It provides a different interpretation on the reasons for success and emphasises the fact of how wrong the adage “self made man/woman” is.

Gladwell argues that success is never overnight but is deeply dependent on several factors from culture, society, education, and even the year of birth and then the preceding hard and dedicated work of some 10,000 hours required to achieve mastery. Then and only then having the presence of recognising and tenaciously gripping opportunities to make them stressful.

He outlines several fundamental research to support his theories and observations, the most eye-opening for me was how there are essentially only two ways children are raised, in this context, of that how poor families tend to raise their children and hour to the rich did and how those affected the psyche and ultimately the opportunities that become available for either in their lives.

There are so many lessons and thoughts to evaluate and gain from in this book. I very much recommend it.


Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

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Tom Hanks doesn’t much act in his movies and is not type-cast. He is just a naturally good human being! That’s the simple fact, and his writing completely confirms this too.

As I read his stories in Uncommon Type, I was almost urging him to put in some drama at this point, or do a plot twist there, to no avail though, as the stories are just “nice”, and some would say rather bland.

We’re trained to expect and demand drama in fiction and that’s what’s dished out to us. However, reading beyond that expectation in the first two or three stories, I find myself accepting that yes, the world indeed has more good than bad, and people are naturally kind. By then, I was cringing whenever I came across a cuss word – sparingly used through his text as they are – I actually felt that he was compelled to use them to show some form or “badness”. I’m happy to say that even with those, he can’t be, not with his kind and trusting nature.

Later on by the fifth or sixth story, the pace was picking up, and my realization that no earth-shattering drama is about to happen, made me relax even more. That relaxation led to sinking even deeper in my seat as I continued reading this nice book. Even his attempts at injecting a twist on the story, almost always at the very end with the last sentence, didn’t shake that sense of goodness in the world.

Uncommon Type is light reading that doesn’t tax one’s brain much, and some of its stories would certainly benefit from better plot twists and drama to make them even more enjoyable.

What you get with this book, I guess, is the calming influence one might expect from Xanax.

Thank you Mr Hanks.


Indiana Jones. They shouldn’t have.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullWARNING: MOVIE SPOILER AHEAD!

What’s worse than shattering a boyish myth? Nothing!

When a dearly held myth is destroyed, one is left completely exhausted and drained. Despondent. And left with that age-old question: WHY?

After watching the completely disappointing fourth instalment last night, I felt that I should have gone with my gut instinct and shunned it. What utter crap! I mean come on, I know they might need a transition to create a franchise (I hate that word in films) but this is a very bad way of doing it. And what’s with them going dreamy about Sean Connery? Couldn’t they afford his fee to integrate him in a dream sequence? Believe me that would not have been out of place in this crap.

I also realise that a good plot now seem to be a secondary consideration when hundreds of millions are spent on a production, and it showed. I think they must have thought that those special effects will suffice, but someone should disabuse them of that notion. They took a completely fantastic series of films and destroyed them in the minds of millions who idolised that swashbuckling hero, jumping from trains, dodging boulders, diving into forests, fighting with natives, going into snake-filled tombs, jumping from air planes, and doing the right thing by rescuing relics from the hands of evil, and turned him into a 60-year-old woosy who says something like “tell me it’s a rope” as he is afraid of a giant rat snake that his just-discovered son threw to him to grab hold on to rescue out of a dry-sand pit (as opposed to wet-sand), a snake that apart from it evidently plastic, has already been used to rescue the mother, an old Jones flame.

(excuse me for borrowing a fine expression from early teen girls here)


I don’t think I’ll bother keeping the initial 3 instalments now, anyone wants to buy 3 oft-used collector edition Indiana Jones DVDs?