Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What the dog saw

I was super chuffed when I saw 'What the dog saw' by Malcolm Gladwell on the bookstore shelf. I didn't know he had written another book and had eagerly awaited and devoured his last two books. Turns out this isn't a new book, but rather a collection of his columns.

All good. I haven't read a lot of his columns anyway. I actually bought the book as a Christmas gift for someone else, but wasn't able to restrain myself, so a replacement gift is Saturday mornings task.

I really enjoyed the first paragraph of the introduction. Not so much the first chapter of the book... but we will have to wait and see.

What I did enjoy was the reminder of how babies learn slowly that not everyone likes the same things as them. When a one-year old thinks that because she likes goldfish crackers, mommy and daddy must like goldfish crackers too. Then two years become terrors as they start realising this might not be the case and test it out. This fascination that everyone thinks differently and experiences life differently, and an attempt to gain an insight in to other people's experiences is what drove Gladwell towards his passion of writing.

It is something we never quite come to grips with, and is wonderful. There isn't really such a thing as bad taste. There is just your taste. Your taste may be mainstream and 'good', or offbeat and 'good'.

For some things, there just isn't a right and a wrong. The best you can do is try and understand how others see the world differently.
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