Book: Outliers, the Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers; The Tipping Point, BlinkOutliers, What the Dog Saw. He has been named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine and one of the Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers. He has explored how ideas spread in the Tipping Point, decision making in Blink, and the roots of success in Outliers

On LinkedIn platform group discussions a topic came by which caught my attention “Do the math – why Shanghai’s children rule the world”, based on the book “Outliers” from Canadian award-winning writer, Malcom Gladwell,


Rice Paddies and Math tests click on the link for a summary of Chapter eight. Update by on 18-12-2017 (Gladwell website is under construction, the original link will be restored when made available).

“No one who can rise before dawn three hundred and sixty days a year fails to make his family rich.”

Take a look at the following list of numbers: 4,8,5,3,9,7,6. Read them out loud to yourself. Now look away, and spend twenty seconds memorizing that sequence before saying them out loud again.If you speak English, you have about a 50 percent chance of remembering that sequence perfectly If you’re Chinese, though, you’re almost certain to get it right every time. Why is that? Because as human beings we store digits in a memory loop that runs for about two seconds. We most easily memorize whatever we can say or read within that two-second span. And Chinese speakers get that list of numbers—4,8,5,3,9,7,6—right every time because—unlike English speakers—their language allows them to fit all those seven numbers into two seconds. . . .

The Asian system is transparent,” says Karen Fuson, a Northwestern University psychologist, who has done much of the research on Asian-Western differences. “I think that it makes the whole attitude toward math different. Instead of being a rote learning thing, there’s a pattern I can figure out. There is an expectation that I can do this. There is an expectation that it’s sensible. For fractions, we say three fifths. The Chinese are literally, ‘out of five parts, take three.’ That’s telling you conceptually what a fraction is. It’s differentiating the denominator and the numerator.
The much-storied disenchantment with mathematics among western children starts in the third and fourth grade, and Fuson argues that perhaps a part of that disenchantment is due to the fact that math doesn’t seem to make sense; its linguistic structure is clumsy; its basic rules seem arbitrary and complicated.When it comes to maths, in other words, Asians have a built-in advantage. . .

The discussion topic was contributed with the following note and question: “The Chinese languages lead the world for speed and memorability -a natural advantage in simple maths. But how do they match up on complex, engineering-style calculations? What happens when you add symbols to number in Chinese?”

The thread developed with various comments adding to the discussion and links, an article published June 2012 in The Telegraph “Numeracy campaign, what we can learn from China. Here below is an excerpt, for the full read click on the provided link.

“Among other factors he highlights is quality of teaching. “Everyone who teaches maths in China is what is called a ‘subject-specific teacher’. So when I was in the classroom, I only taught maths.” The same is true of Singapore’s secondary schools. But in Britain, fewer than five percent of primary teachers have maths degrees, and an estimated 30-40 percent of GCSE maths lessons are taken by teachers with qualifications in other subjects..”
So can we change the culture around maths here? “In many schools, I have seen in Britain,” suggests Professor Fan, “there is good practice in maths, but in others, there isn’t that culture of expectation.”

A more recent article featured in The Economist February 2014, Teaching mathematics – Time for a ceasefire; “Technology and fresh ideas are replacing classroom drill—and helping pupils to learn“. Click on the link for the full article read, here below is an excerpt.

“Maths education has been a battlefield before: the American “math wars” of the 1980s pitted traditionalists, who emphasized fluency in pen-and-paper calculations, against reformers led by the country’s biggest teaching lobby, who put real-world problem-solving, often with the help of calculators, at the center of the curriculum. A backlash followed by parents and academics worried that the “new math” left pupils ill-prepared for university courses in mathematics and the sciences. But as many countries have since found, training pupils to ace exams is not the same as equipping them to use their hard-won knowledge in work and life”.

This post is based on Malcolm Gladwell’s book titled “Outliers”, the Story of Success; focusing on intelligence and ambition in relation to persons who stand apart because of making most of their human potential. He argues skilfully that in order to understand how some people thrive you must take more into account than only being bound and determined. There are more parts making the greater sum, than just the relationship between Math and languages.

What are your thoughts? Have you read the book and do you agree that there is more what drives success or is it reserved for successful people, who have made it on intelligence and ambition or where they lucky to be born in the right year or does speaking the right language makes you smarter in math?

Fav Android mobile photo apps

My Apps (1) – Lets not kid ourselves our society has been transformed the moment mobiles entered our life-style and made slowly but surely changes especially games, mobile applications and widgets. The possibilities in here has avalanched the way we read and made influential changes how we spend our time according to latest researches. I will not dive into scientific areas or technical description far from it even, for me as end-user I am only interested in convenient and efficient.

Simply said, are apps & widgets easy to operate and handy. Do they deliver any time and anywhere access, supporting tasks and retrieve latest updates. As social media fan and enthusiastic user, who loves to find out best practices with nifty gadgets and/or apps. I retrieve and exchange answers also from user groups, twitter feeds with search #hashtag for advice on the why’s, dont’s, do’s or just what is fun.

Since there are so many and only frequent usage will reveal whether it serves it purpose or not and I have my favourite free Android mobile apps. This is the first post of a series featuring “My Apps” list in categories starting with visual apps.

  • Instagram – Iphone most talked and raved application, now acquired by Facebook because it was the first photo-sharing experience on mobile phones! I installed the android version right on my Samsung S3 because it’s connected with other social media applications. For Iphone & Android users have a look at post mentioning other apps for even more possibilities and effects by Mashable Tech 10 Photo apps that enhance Instagram Tumblr post Instagram Apps unofficial catalog of cool apps or Lifehacker Five better alternatives for Android No need to explain why it turned immensely popular, it was fun to play and connect with friends and groups but I wanted more photo Fx (effects).
  • PicsArt Android – Now we’re talking this is a complete photo editing tool and super easy to use, once you start playing around with its features your hooked! I’ve downloaded this app also on my Samsung Tablet P1000 and if you like Photoshop this comes quite near.
  • Streamzoo  Android – After Picsart this is my second best favourite because of its thriving community, members are prompt to tag their photo’s with hashtag as in Twitter, which makes it easier to follow and to find both people and interests. Since I’m a of Foursquare fan too I like the game reward element collecting points and badges. Photo’s I uploaded were instantly picked out and liked, sharing is also appreciating efforts of others so yes this app is a keeper.
  • Photo Grid Android – I’ve just recently added this and signed up for Beta-version testing, I like it as an addition to PicsArt making photo collages, single photo’s can be powerful but at times a collage can be as entertaining to want to see more.
  • Add watermark – Android I downloaded this after positive referral, easy to set-up and use. Sign your pictures with text or logo as protection for your digital and intellectual property, but also serve to advertise your company, website or other information at the same time.
  • Daily Mugshot Android – Is a fun app to take daily photo’s and upload instantly, some users have found an entertaining way to change their snaps by altering head wear, color lipsticks or just yourself as you. The only thing is I keep forgetting to take snapshots so I have one with big gaps but still fun when quickly flipped through to notice changes as an old film/cartoonbook.
There is so much more and available that actually having all these choices it just makes it harder and you may not like my choices, perhaps this post Top 20 Android Photography apps will enlighten you with more options of photo effects.

Android photo apps