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18

FRIDAY

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Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker staff writer and author of The Tipping Point, returns with a dissection of first impressions. And by first impressions, I mean the first two seconds the human brain is presented with a subject. In Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Gladwell craftily combines self-help, hard psychology, and best-seller readability in what will surely be the catalyst for some rash decision-making. Or maybe not: Examples of poor immediate judgment are also considered, such as the vexing lapses that gave us New Coke and the music-industry market-research studies that almost destroyed the career of nuevo-alterna-funker Kenna. The book concludes with the chapter “Listening With Your Eyes: The Lessons of Blink,” which, though helpful, features nothing about training your brain to generate helpful warning signs, such as immediate pants-peeing or sudden blindness in one eye upon first meeting doomed dating prospects. Gladwell reads at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Andrew Earles)