The book contains 19 essays that Malcolm wrote in the New Yorker spanning over 8 years I think which makes it an easy read for people with a short attention span or people who don’t have hte time to read, you read an essay, put the book aside until you are ready to read another essay.
The book is split into three parts titled:
– Minor Geniuses:
This part talks about people who are not revered in the media for their achievements but non the less are amazing at what they do. One of the examples of these people is Ron Popiel, a household name here in North America, for those who don’t know the name does the phrase ” Set it and forget it” ring a bell?
Another essay that I found VERY interesting talks about the birth of the birth control pill, honestly this essay was sooooo interesting that getting your hands on the book just to read that is worth it.
– Theories, Predictions, and Diagnoses:
This part is so fascinating. One of the essays talked about the fall of Enron, I think people will still talk about Enron 100 years from now, and what caused them to fail.
Another essay talked about true geniuses with an IQ higher than 150. their was a study done on these geniuses to track them through life expecting them to be the cream of the crop once they are older just to be shocked at the end that no, being a genius does not mean you will be successful. Pretty cool!
Another essay in this part I liked is the one discussing the failure of the challenger mission. It basically concludes that it’s not one big huge problem that causes things to fail it’s actually a chain of very ordinary small problems that create a huge failure, very interesting!
– Personality, Character, and Intelligence:
One of the essays talks about late bloomers, mostly artists and writers, and how some write/paint brilliant work and then fizz out as opposed to those who reach their 40s painting and writing full-time all through their lives with no tangible success and then BOOM become an overnight household name.
For a full list of the essays click here
This book opened my mind a bit and I felt I learned something from it and applied it to my day-to-day life.
Go to your public library today 🙂 .
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