Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point quote: "what we think of as inner states--preferences and emotions--are actually powerfully and imperceptibly influenced by seemingly inconsequential personal influences." To back up that statement, he gives examples: 1. The ABC Peter Jennings example and 2. the Goetz on the subway example and 3. the Zimbardo/Stanford example and 4. the cheating on a test example and 5. the FAE which is human beings overestimating the importance of fundamental character traits and underestimating the importance of the situation and the context when it comes to interpreting other peole's behavior.I've been watching that in my day to day life. In other words, how are my preferences and emotions influenced by seemingly inconsequential personal influences?Does he give enough evidence to back up his 150 people tipping point theory? Because it seems it's a powerful point especially in regards to smaller schools. someone else commented in an email post: One of the most powerful concepts we humans have is that of understanding the consequences of our decisions. Some people avoid making decisions. We all do it at times. Some more than others.For many people it is not an easy thing and they tend to sit on the fence and complain about bad decisions. Little perturbations in initial conditions can in many cases lead to wildly differing futures. This is something that seems alien to people. Some think it is only a science fiction thing.Sometimes a tiny decision to do good can multiply its effects. Every parent should know this. Their kids are watching them a lot. Every leader knows they are being watched and needs to take responsibility for their actions.People who take responsibility for their actions are acutely aware that their decision making affects others (and themselves) like a scattergun. Claiming no responsibility through denial is short sighted and selfish. It goes against our understanding of human thought and interaction. More of my thoughts on the book:Is there a tipping point to bring more peace and happiness in the world? In other words: if enough of us practice peace within, will that make a difference in the world?Three examples that he offers: 1.hush puppies 2. sexually transmitted disease that increased exponentially after three things happened 3. exponentially increase in drop out rate when role models drop below 5% of the neighborhood Then he discusses 1. The connector 2. The Maven 3. The persuader He explained why Paul Revere's message created a Tipping Point for action because Paul Revere was a connector. The needle exchange program in Baltimore is an example of how the connectors and the mavens and the persuaders help move us to the tipping point. The chapter on Sesame Street dragged my opinion. Maybe others got more out of those chapters. The point of the Sesame Street chapter seemed to be the "stickiness" factor.The chapter about Goetz and the rise and fall of NY City crime seems to have some political implications especially in light of the impending foreclosures because of the subprime interest mtg market. The chapter on cigarette smoking. He seems to make some powerful claims. Nurture vs nature BUT parents may not be the major"environmental influence." Influences outside the family (like our children's peers) may have the greater influence.

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