Monday, May 15, 2006

An Islamic America and Thin-Slicing

While I was away on this last trip I finished a couple of books I have been wanting to read.

The first one is called Blink. It’s written by Malcolm Gladwell, the same guy who wrote The Tipping Point. Blink is a book about the decisions we seem to make in the blink of an eye. The decisions that we don’t really seem to even think about, but just happen. I find this book difficult to describe quickly here so I'll just descibe one concept from it called thin-slicing.

“Thin-slicing refers to the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behavior based on very narrow slices of experience.”

An example of thin-slicing would be . . . let’s say you are walking through the mall and you pass a women’s clothing store. While you are walking past you notice near the front of the store a man shaking his head looking exasperated and a woman close by rolling her eyes as she puts a piece of clothing back on the shelf. In that brief moment you may be able to put together a pretty good idea of what their relationship is like.

Or, let’s say you are a quarterback in a football game. The ball is snapped to you and you have maybe a second or two to decide if the play you called is going to work or if you need to decide something else based on everyone’s position.

These are all decisions that happen very quickly and we all make variations of them daily. Anyway, a good read if you are into understanding how you think.

The second book I read is called Prayers for the Assassin by Robert Forigno. Imagine America is now an Islamic nation. Seattle is the new capitol. DC, NYC, Chicago and Detroit have all been destroyed. Nevada is its own thing called the “Morman Territories” and the old “South” is now the hard fought for “Bible Belt” with its own president. Well that was enough to interest me. I wanted to see if the author could pull of a convincing story given those parameters. Oh yeah, Coca-Cola has been outlawed and replaced with Jihad-Cola too.

The basic story here is about a renegade ex-Fedayeen fighter named Rakkim and his woman, Sarah. They are after the truth of why the Islamic Republic became the Islamic Republic. The widely held belief is that the Jews nuked parts of America which is why everyone rallied against them and all Christians.

Did the author pull it off? Mostly he did. I think he made up for what he missed with the energy of the story. If you are looking for a page-turner adventure you may enjoy this one. However, be warned, the language isn’t always great and there are a couple of sections that should be rated R.



Alexis 5/17/2006 12:07 AM  

sounds like you had a great trip and found sometime in your travels to do some reading.

ok I am not a reader but lately there have been a few books that have been catching my attention and I am almost ready to purchase a couple for the summer and am going to force myself to try and read them. I want to try and read the book before I read the movie. Hehehe I am sure you know what I mean

ok the new album release date is getting close and I wish you all well with this and pray sales will be better than projected.

Good luck.

Bradley B. Shea 6/07/2006 8:00 AM  

Sounds like a couple of interesting titles. Where might I find them?

Bradley B. Shea 6/09/2006 10:25 AM  

Just read your post about playing your cornet and I got to thinking about us playing in Praise and Worship in the summer of 1996 at OMC. Good Times


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