Book Review – David and Goliath

 Randomness Vs Predictability

Malcom Gladwell, Naseem Taleb and a few others have been advocating the idea randomness. They tend to say that certain forms of incidence are outliers, black swan etc. Although I do not fully agree with their thinking since I believe that in many cases, there are many elements of predictability, these authors provide interesting perspectives in evaluating the world and whatever happens to it.


David and Goliath

As  usual, I have the habit of buying books in the airport, and I bought David and Goliath at KLIA. Similar to his previous books that I have read such as blink, tipping point, what the dog saw, outliers, Malcom Gladwell never fails to impress me with his ability to make anything seemed logical and I trully enjoyed analyzing his arguments. But after reading few of his books, I can almost predict his thinking. This was the reason why I hesitated to pick up this book many times as I passed by a bookstore. I nevertheless bought it one day.

In David and Goliath, he argued that although being at a disadvantage or underdog, a person might be able to emerge much better than average people, or even overcome those on the other end. He elaborated with few examples, many I cherished, one I despised.

David and Goliath is a story of a fight between a little guy and a big guy, the underdog vs the favorite. The winning strategy was to take unexpected moves, the one least thought of or not understood by the big guy. Focussing on this skill that are alien to the big guy, the small guy strikes, stunning the big guy before he goes down.

The concept was then extended into several other cases to show the benefits of being underdog. Nevertheless, the key to success that all underdogs have to focus on was hard works. He has to master special skills that he can to overcome his lacking in other things. Focus on listening when he cannot see. He simply has to work hard. One cannot simply say that since a person can do it, I can also do it. Yes he can, but he simply has to work for it. After all God is Most Just and Most Merciful.

The most important lesson is that a person who is ill-fated with some handicaps shouldn’t feel inferior because despite his handicap, he can still be successful. Numerous examples are available, some of which are highlighed by this book.

But I don’t understand why the author put forward the example of the crazy doctor dealing with pediatric patients suffering from leukemia. He might be successful in showing something, but that is not something that we should be proud of, even if he is proven to be in the right direction years later. It simply not ethical to answer his curiosity or fulfill his determination, or even his lust, by experimenting with human life. I hope the author will not use such examples in his future book.






About Dr. AA

I am an educator, professional trainer, safety consultant, researcher, social worker, outdoor enthusiast, and a thinker.
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