Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point offers a fascinating and insightful way to think about the issue of epidemics. Those elements Gladwell believes are the basis for why epidemics start allows the reader to think about their world in a way they never thought they could. I would not have thought of Sesame Street or Blue's clues as being defined as epidemics. When one thinks of an epidemic, one thinks of AIDS, or some form of disease so widespread that it must be contained and a cure provided to keep the disease in check from spreading further. Therefore, after reading the book, the reader is left with a new perspective to "look at the subtle, the hidden, and the unspoken" (Gladwell, 2002, pg. 80). Those things in everyday life that we would not normally think about as being epidemics are now taken under the microscope and analyzed. Through the work the reader learns to apply those concepts put forth by Gladwell to see if things like soap operas, game shows, magazines, and eating disorders can fit into the framework of what an epidemic is or is not and why certain things do become epidemics. EXAMPLES
By using such common examples such as the flu from the start of the book, anyone reading the book can visualize just what happens when the flu mutates and spreads, as you get sicker and sicker. The idea of the flu provides a basis from which all other examples are understood; that if the flu is not stopped, then the epidemic will continue to become bigger and bigger to the point that nothing can be done to prevent it, as in the case offered by Gladwell on smoking. The basis of all examples, all concepts in the book is contagion. Contagion is the reason why something tips whether it is a physical feature or a character feature. For example, Mavens, Connectors, and Salesman, would not be effective unless they were able to create the environment of being able to spread their messages, their knowledge, their pitches, and bring their social world's together by...
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