Thursday, June 30, 2005 

The Tipping Point

  • I picked up a copy of this book yesterday and I'm really enjoying it. It's by Malcolm Gladwell of the New Yorker. It'll be a good read on my way to NYC. I'm too lazy to think right now so I thought I'd look up some reviews of the book on Amazon and post them here. I found a good one in particular; It's by John P. Segal "the reviewer"
    Mr. Segal, I'm really sorry for copying what you said and posting it here. I don't really think you care either, it's just some crappy blog. But great review John.

    • "The Tipping Point is a book by Malcolm Gladwell. Tipping point is a sociological term that refers to the moment when something unique becomes common.

      The book seeks to explain "social epidemics", or sudden and often chaotic changes from one state to another. For example, he cites the drop in the New York City crime rate in the 1990s. The ability to generate these epidemics is highly-sought in marketing. They are similar, in their mathematical properties, to disease epidemics.

      Gladwell identifies three types of people who have the power to produce social epidemics:

      Connectors: Those with wide social circles. They are the "hubs" of the human social network and responsible for the small world phenomenon.

      Mavens are knowledgeable people. While most consumers wouldn't know if a product were priced above the market rate by, say, 10 percent, mavens would. Bloggers who detect false claims in the media could also be considered mavens.

      Salesmen are charismatic people with powerful negotiation skills. They exert "soft" influence rather than forceful power. Their source of influence may be the tendency of others, subconsciously, to imitate them rather than techniques of conscious persuasion.

      Other key concepts in The Tipping Point are:

      The Law of the Few. Those with the skill sets described above have disproportionate influence over the spread of social phenomena, and without their aid, such dissemination is unlikely ever to occur.

      Stickiness: Ideas or products found attractive or interesting by others will grow exponentially for some time.

      The Power of Context: Human behavior is strongly influenced by external variables of context. For example, "zero tolerance" efforts to combat minor crimes such as fare-beating and vandalism on the New York subway led to a decline in more violent crimes; the perception of increased vigilance altered the behavior and attitudes of the passengers. Gladwell also describes the bystander effect.

      The Magic Number 150. In sociology, it is commonly posited that an individual can only have genuine social relationships with 150 people. Likewise, groups larger than 150 are prone to fragmentation, and it is often best for the group's health that it split. Most extant hunter-gatherer villages, as well as military companies also stay just shy of this number.

      The New Product Cycle: According to the model of Everett Rogers, there is a bell curve of adaptation to the new phenomenon: first are innovators, then early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. Each category corresponds to one standard deviation worth of width, and the apex of the bell curve is between the early and late majorities. Innovators lie 2 or more standard deviations to the left of the mean, while early adopters are between 1 and 2 standard devations to the left, and so on. Laggards, the last group to adopt a new fad, lie at least 1 standard deviation to the right of the mean, thus make up about 16 percent of the population."

    Wednesday, June 29, 2005 

    *I became bulimic... **You could read minds?!!

  • Tom Cruise , a few days ago, called psychiatry a "pseudo science" on NBC's Today Show with Matt Lauer.

    "Before I was a Scientologist, I never agreed with psychiatry," Cruise said. "And when I started studying the history of psychiatry, I understood more and more why I didn't believe in psychology. ... And I know that psychiatry is a pseudo science." That was in regards to recent criticism of actress Brooke Shields for revealing that she had taken the antidepressant Paxil to cope with postpartum depression. Come on Maverick, you're the Hollywood "hunk", you shouldn't be saying stuff like that. If you really think that psychology/psychiatry is all buff, then why star in Minority Report? I mean, it's all cognitive psychology at its best. Then he started saying crap like, "There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance," and "Here's the problem. You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do." Now come on Tom, you're not that high!

  • What is it with stereotypes of psychology and psychologists? I mean, I understand the psychopathic surgeon, the chain-smoking respiratory therapist, and the frigid gynecologist. But why is it that every time you tell someone that you are a psychology major they start acting normal all of a sudden. And if they've known you long enough, they assume you can analyze their personality and tell them who they are and which of the personality clusters they fit in to. Come on people, there's no such thing as analyzing others and predicting their next move. Well, human behavior is innate but you can't expect the next psychologist to storm into your kitchen, find nothing on the stove and say excitedly, " You're going to cook spaghetti, aren't you ! " Forensic psychologists can pick up cues from criminals and psycho/sociopaths which will help them predict the next move. Forensic psychologists don't do what they do because they're good, they do it because the people they're dealing with have a certain degree of psychosis that allows them to leave clues behind. In other words, these criminals are stupid, that's why they get caught.

  • I was talking to a friend of mine today and she asked if I can analyze her personality and I was Nobody can. Then she said, well you're a psychology major..of course you can do all that. I said, Uh no...besides, I'm not even close to being a professional. She said, still, at least you know some stuff that will help you to analyze me. I was like, "yawn" look, you've known yourself for twenty something years, and you expect someone who barely knows you to tell you what you're all about? You know yourself more than anyone else. That's it.

  • On the same tide, Another friend asked for advice on someone she liked. she said something about me being a psychology major which gives me a better insight. Honey, it's not psychology it's common sense. Just common sense. You don't even need a degree for that. If you like someone, you have to know why you like them. Is it his appearance, his personality, his sense of humor, etc? Generally speaking, I believe girls have a little problem in knowing what they really want from a guy or why they hooked up in the first place. You see, when you ask a guy, "Why do you like her?" Most of the time a guy will give you a straight answer, "She's hot," "She's tall," "She has big boobs," etc. I suppose guys in general don't dig in to what a girl is really about but rather shoot for the shell. Girls on the other hand, I think, just break the shell and look at all the slimy stuff which leaves them confused. For all I know, I'm just talking out of my ass. I honestly don't know. One thing I know for sure is this is my blog and I can say what ever I want. Later :p
  • Tuesday, June 28, 2005 

    Let it Rain...

  • It was a nice day in Boise. A little bipolar if you ask me. It was clear, then rained a little, sunny, then rained a lot.
    Anyway..Nothing out of the ordinary happened today, so I'll just leave you with a few pictures I took while I was doing some reading.

  • Monday, June 27, 2005 

    Pasha or some stupid park in Salt Lake?

  • Yup, that was pretty much the tie-breaker that decided last weekend's roadtrip; Salt Lake City or Portland. The funny thing it was spontaneous because the verdict came out a few hours before the trip. It was worth the time though we only spent less than 24 hours over there. The bunch consisted of Carolina, Layla, Salma, Hamed and I. Mark met up with us later. (Vanessa, you were missed). We went to this Arabic place called Pasha in downtown Portland. It was great. Here are some pics from the trip.

  • Sunday, June 26, 2005 

    The Boy Who Knew Too Little..

  • Hmm...Haven't been posting for ages now..Lack of motivation, I suppose. The graduate school process is still the same. Getting rejections after rejections. I'm still waiting though.

  • I was walking in downtown Boise last night but it didn't feel the same. I guess I've been partying too much lately. I thought I'd be good this weekend just to recharge my energy for New York next weekend. Looking forward to it. I'll just leave you guys with a typical scene from one of the downtown veterans in Boise; the hotdog-stand guy. They say this is his son and legend has it that this boy is always high. Sorry for the lack of quality, (phone cam material).
  • 100 Years Ago

    About me

    • Name: Sami
    • Location: Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
    My profile

    Photo Album