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The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point was the book of the moment six years ago. This would make me a laggard at the tail-end of a trend since I’ve only read it last week.

The book is ostensibly about social trends and the elements that cause some of them to take off wildly and improbably. That’s interesting in itself but I was much more fascinated by a recurring sub-theme in the book.

It was astonishing to learn just how easily people are influenced and manipulated. It’s readily evident we can be influenced by the words and actions of others. However, it’s a bit unsettling to learn we also respond and react at a subconscious level to almost imperceptible clues in our environment and in other people.

As the book reveals, people can be influenced by emotions of charismatic strangers even when no words are exchanged. Broken windows and graffiti subconsciously encourage vandalism which in turn encourages more serious crimes. Suicide numbers rise and traffic accidents increase whenever a suicide is reported in the papers.

If you’re intrigued by all this, I would urge you to visit the author’s site and read his own attempt to influence you to buy the book.

Posted in Books.

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