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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 30, 2008 3 Teves 5769

‘Outliers’

By Thomas Sowell


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Outliers" are not politicians who lie even more than other politicians. It is a term used by statisticians to describe some data that are far away from the average— data on seven-foot women or freezing temperatures in Los Angeles, for example.


"Outliers" is also the title of a very insightful and very readable new book by best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell . The book's subtitle is "The Story of Success." It is a study of the factors behind people who have had spectacular achievements in fields ranging from hockey to computers.


One of the first groups of outliers studied are top-level Canadian hockey players, a wholly disproportionate number of whom were born in the first three months of the year. Moreover, the same pattern was found among top Czech hockey players.


The key factor turned out to be a fixed date— January 1st in both countries— for selecting young boys to be placed on special hockey teams that were the elite of their age groups.


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Players born in January were the most over-represented among the top hockey players in both countries. As young boys, they would have just missed the selection cut-off for that year and would have had another year to grow before the next selection date.


Obviously a boy born the day after the selection date would be virtually a year older when the next selection date came around, compared to a boy born the day before the selection date, even though they were both officially the "same" age, competing for places on the same elite hockey teams.


That kind of difference in age— at a very young age— was a big advantage, in terms of size and physical maturity, among boys in a very physical sport. Being tracked into elite hockey teams, early on, allowed that initial advantage to be parlayed into an ever larger advantage of experience and training with elite teams over the years.


Many other "outliers" in achievement in many other fields likewise came from special backgrounds or special circumstances. These people have been in areas ranging from computers to corporations to residents of one Pennsylvania town with unusually low rates of heart disease, despite having residents whose diets are laden with fat and sugar, who do little exercise and who tend to be obese.


The theme running through this book is that spectacular individual achievements— outliers— are not simply a matter of personal merit but come out of a background of special circumstances that enable outstanding individual ability to lead to performances far beyond the norm.


Examples from radically different settings, ranging from the rice paddies of China to Manhattan's lower east side, show the same principle at work among wholly different people in wholly different times and places.


This book is an outstanding achievement in itself , and its readability, insights and imagination make it one of the best books of 2008 or any other year.


It is not easy, however, to share the author's belief that social policies can spread the advantages of some to the population at large. It seems even less likely that empowering politicians to do so will make things better overall than they are in the very imperfect world we currently live in.


This is not to say that nothing can be done. One of the most inspiring chapters in "Outliers" is about a KIPP charter school serving minority students, whose academic performances far exceed those of other minority students, even though these students were selected by lottery, rather than on the basis of ability.


A lot could be done to support and expand such schools. But a crucial factor in the success of the KIPP schools is a commitment by the students and their parents to a demanding educational program. No politician or bureaucrat can create that.


Indeed, politicians and bureaucrats have done much that has had the net effect of spreading attitudes that undermine the prospects of using currently available opportunities.


If enough people read and ponder the implications of "Outliers," perhaps that can help begin the much needed process of turning around current counterproductive attitudes toward education and toward life.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Thomas Sowell's column by clicking here.

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