This is a collection of highlights from the book “Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell.
Why are we so bad at translating the words and intentions of others?
The people who were right about Hitler knew the least about him personally. The people who were wrong about Hitler were the ones who had talked with him for hours.
Basically, actions speak louder than words.
The illusion of asymmetric insight: we know others better than they know us – we have the insight they may lack (but not vice versa) this leads us to talk more and to be less patient.
We jump at the chance to judge strangers when we would never do that to ourselves seeing as we are nuanced, complex, enigmatic. But the stranger, they’re easy.
Strangers are not easy.
Don’t look at the stranger look at their world
The issues with spies is not that there is something brilliant about them but that there is something wrong with us
People have too much faith in big organizations.
Never trust the accounting firms.
40 cents of every dollar in health care either goes to fraud or waste.
Russian folklore, the Holy Fool is someone that is outcast from society and is, therefore, able to state the obvious facts that would otherwise but a regular individual into poor standing with society.
Stop and search are dangerous procedures and generate more hostility.
Myopia theory – alcohol makes the background even more irrelevant and the foreground is concentrated. Which is why in Camba when they drink in social circles calmly the negative societal impacts are very few while drinking in a rowdy environment in the states can often lead to very negative outcomes.
Decisions are often coupled to environments.
Overall, this was a fascinating read that I really enjoyed.