The Tipping Point

Malcom Gladwell

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"The Tipping Point is the moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire." The Tipping Point is about all the factors that can lead to the crossing of a threshold, which causes something to become an extreme epidemic. The interesting thing, though, is that there is no one big factor that causes something to "tip", it's a bunch of little factors added together that make the big difference.

Author's Purpose

The purpose of this book is to inform readers. To inform readers that "tipping points" can come from, what seems like, little things. "Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable, implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push - in just the right place - it can be tipped." (page 259) This causes people to have a different view on situations and makes them more willing to look at the big picture.
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Three Principles Learned

A tipping point can be reached by a combination of three "laws" mentioned in the book:

A) The Law of the Few: Certain types of people are good at spreading news or trends

B) The Stickiness Factor: Factors make trends, ideas and social behaviors more "sticky", or appealing, and cause them to spread to the masses more willingly

C) The Power of Context: The events around an idea, trend or behavior can be just as, if not more, important than the big event

Two Passages

Page 9: This passage is a prime example of how easily things can spread just by hearing a word, seeing an action or even thinking of one. And on top of that, just seeing, hearing or thinking of a yawn can cause you to think you may be tired, even when you may not have been feeling that way before.

Page 141: This passage is important because it talks about the Broken Window theory, a theory that is the main explanation as to why the Power of Context is so important in causing a "tipping point". I also find it incredibly interesting that a simple thing, like a broken window, can change the whole view of a place, and from that, cause it to be more susceptible to crime.

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Greatest Impression

The Power of Context (part one): It was incredibly interesting to read about how the Broken Window theory can be used to describe the drastic crime rate drop in New York City. At first I found the idea a little far fetched, but once I thought about it, it make a lot of sense. Areas that are left unclean or left unrepaired give off a feeling of lack of care or authority and that would be a place where most people would go to commit crimes, in areas with little authority and that are unappealing to the masses.

Connection Between the Book and My Own Life

I went to Feed My Starving Children last year and helped bag food for people who can’t afford it or just don’t have access to it. It was my job to seal the bags shut after they had been filled with the different portions of food. After the time was up I felt like I had accomplished nothing, all I had done was seal a bunch of bags. But then one of the workers came out and told us that we had filled enough bags of food to feed a thousand hungry stomachs for a year. It blew my mind to think that I was a part of something so huge. Something as little as sealing bags of food or even measuring rice count. With all of us doing "little things", they all added up to make a BIG difference. It's easy to feel like the little things we don't count for anything, but we truly can make a huge impact when we work together. All of our little pushes may cause somethnig big to tip.
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Rating of Book

I rate this book a four because it was incredibly entertaining and well written. It used good life examples/ scenarios that made the complex theories talked about easier to comprehend. This is an excellent book for someone who is interested in social sciences, such as psychology or sociology, because it uses a lot of examples involving social behaviors and the way people interact and pass information.