Tuesday 3 May 2022

Not As Easy As It Seems

Got this book at a random atrium fair for a steal at $8. This is the third Malcolm Gladwell book I have completed within the past year. Still as spell binding, still as engaging.

This time, the topic revolved around human communication and perception. Specifically, between strangers, how do they size each other up in a given situation. The most interesting example was the one involving the CIA and one of its Cuban agent. She was a double spy and had infiltrated for more than ten years. The matter was further compounded by the revelation of many other spies who worked for the Cuban government. For so long, they combined to put the veil over USA and fed wrong information to distort the picture in the country. Could it have been prevented? Hard to say as body language may sometimes be said as a giveaway but in the book, several other examples clearly showed this theory is flawed. Human's tendency to default to truth (believing the honesty of a stranger) is the Achilles heel. We think we know but that's not the case. Without belief though, the world would be a distrusting arena where survival is compromised due to continual suspicion.

Sadly, there had been much news on scams wherever you may be. Singapore was hit by mobile breaches, the elderly got conned to transfer money, corporate honchos invested in a nickel scheme that doesn't exist... the list goes on. It's not difficult to understand the reason behind a scam's success. It preys on the human heart and you just got to be alert to clear warning signs and pause to question yourself at times. The message I got from Malcolm is to practice humility, be kind and improve knowledge. When dealing with people, whether strangers or not, thread carefully to avoid misunderstanding and for me, give the other person the chance to "win" by nodding and walking away.

Tip: Tignanello 2007, cassis, mostly black fruits, slight tobacco. Fine tannins, medium length

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