There is a reason Malcolm Gladwell is, well, Malcolm Gladwell. It’s HARD to examine data that’s largely available to everyone, formulate a theory that is simultaneously novel and obvious, and write it in a manner that is informative, entertaining, and accessible. Hell, it’s pretty impressive Gladwell himself managed it three (four?) times already.
I was impressed when Dataclysm managed that feat, and even more so when the book kinda came and went, but suffice it to say I was hoping this book might have more in common with the statistical analysis from the founder of Ok Cupid. It’s about connectivity in the internet age! With data! Purchased by someone so taken with Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance that I bought half the bibliography! This could’ve been a slam dunk!
Instead, I ended up reading this like you read the April 1998 People Magazine at the dentist’s office you’re left with once your phone dies. I couldn’t wait to be done. My eyes kept going over the pages and retaining nothing until I gave up on going back and just let my eyes wander a bit. It was like reading the owners manual of your blender. I just couldn’t make myself care. Notable exception: the researcher discussion about the Red Balloon challenge, which was engaging and informative, but also information easily obtained by light googling.
I wanted to like this more.