background preloader


Facebook Twitter

Am I Missing Something or Is Malcolm Gladwell a Fraud? Another Jonah Lehrer?

Am I Missing Something or Is Malcolm Gladwell a Fraud?

In an interview at Tuesday, writer Malcolm Gladwell is on The Daily Show plugging his new book David and Goliath. It deals with the notion of “desirable difficulties”, how you can overcome seemingly debilitating conditions and turn them into assets. One such condition, supposedly, is dyslexia, a disorder characterized by difficulties in basic language skills, like reading and writing. So how is that desirable? Gladwell mentions the phenomenon of successful and dyslectic entrepreneurs saying, “they didn’t succeed despite of their dyslexia, but because of it” and that their childhood problems with this condition “forced them to learn all kinds of strategies that ended up being more important.”

Or maybe Gladwell is well aware that this type of success stories sell, especially if they’re made to look as if they also tell the reader something new and interesting about human nature. I guess I’ll have to read the book to be sure, but this looks very suspicious. Malcolm Gladwell - The Idiot's Guide to Smart People. Gladwell for Dummies. That success is in the eye of the unsuccessful would seem to be the great unspoken dilemma dogging critics asked to consider the work of the rich and famous author and inspirational speaker Malcolm Gladwell.

Gladwell for Dummies

No matter how well intentioned or intellectually honest their attempts to assess his ideas, the subtext of Gladwell’s perceived success, and its implications for their own aspirations in the competitive thought-generation business, obscures their judgment and sinks their morale. Nearly a decade has passed since the New York Times dryly summarized Gladwell’s first book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000), as “a study of social epidemics, otherwise known as fads,” and yet, each Sunday, it still taunts perusers of the paperback nonfiction rankings, where it currently sits in sixth place.

Businessinsider. The next time you're about to pay Malcolm Gladwell $80k to speak at your company, read this first, and then decide.


In a manner that's vicious (and yet somehow restrained), Harvard professor Stephen Pinker goes after Gladwell, after reading through several of his essays: The common thread in Gladwell’s writing is a kind of populism, which seeks to undermine the ideals of talent, intelligence and analytical prowess in favor of luck, opportunity, experience and intuition.

For an apolitical writer like Gladwell, this has the advantage of appealing both to the Horatio Alger right and to the egalitarian left. Unfortunately he wildly overstates his empirical case. The History of Social Media. Long before it became the commercialized mass information and entertainment juggernaut it is today, long before it was accessible to the general public, and certainly many years before Al Gore claimed he “took the initiative in creating” it, the Internet – and its predecessors – were a focal point for social interactivity.

The History of Social Media

Granted, computer networking was initially envisioned in the heyday of The Beatles as a military-centric command and control scheme. But as it expanded beyond just a privileged few hubs and nodes, so too did the idea that connected computers might also make a great forum for discussing mutual topics of interest, and perhaps even meeting or renewing acquaintances with other humans. In the 1970s, that process began in earnest. David Brooks and Malcolm Gladwell wrong about I.Q, Income and Wealth. In his book "The Social Animal", reviewed here, David brooks writes: "Once you get past some pretty obvious correlations (smart people make better mathematicians), there is a very loose relationship between IQ and life outcomes.

David Brooks and Malcolm Gladwell wrong about I.Q, Income and Wealth

" Brooks further cites a study claiming that there is "no correlation between accumulating large wealth and high IQ. " Both claims are wrong. The result Brooks cites is after "controlling" for education and income. But education and income are themselves functions of I.Q, so you shouldn't control for them if the question you want to answer is how I.Q effects life outcomes. I have not seen this graphed online, so let's visualize the relationship between an estimate of I.Q and income and wealth so you can see for yourself. For this group the lowest decile is people with I.Q below 84, and the highest decile above 116, which is not a very high cutoff.

There are some policy implications from this realization. Secrets Of Big Success. Malcolm Gladwell: Who Needs Google? Science & Environment - Why Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule is wrong. There’s no magic number for becoming a world-beater, says science writer David Bradley, just ask the psychologist whose research formed the basis of the popular idea.

Science & Environment - Why Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule is wrong

Being exceptional at something is often attributed to one’s genes. Talent is passed down from parents or grandparents it seems, whether it is musical or artistic skill, ability with numbers or being great at juggling. No doubt there are significant genetic factors involved, but there are almost certainly environmental factors in the mix too. Perhaps the two work together, one boosting the other, so that those remarkable genes give rise to remarkable talent only if the skills are suitably nurtured. Malcolm Gladwell Outliers. Malcolm Gladwell: The strange tale of the Norden bombsight. Teen Book Review of instructional, nonfiction, non book and success. In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell challenges the notion of how success is achieved.

Teen Book Review of instructional, nonfiction, non book and success

Gladwell’s thesis states that there is logic behind why certain people are more successful than others, and this logic has more to do with opportunity and legacy than a person’s measured IQ. Search. Malcolm Gladwell is an Untalented Hack. In case you aren’t current on pseudo-scientific clap-trap, Malcolm Gladwell has written a series of books that start with very simple and intuitive assumptions, and then build sweeping and generally unsupported conclusions.

Malcolm Gladwell is an Untalented Hack

His latest book is “Outliers”, where he investigates very unusual (generally highly skilled or accomplished) people, and tries to figure out how they came to be so. This is a very worthy topic, but in his analysis I think he has done more harm than good. My latest run-in with Gladwell, and the inspiration for this post, was on TV the other night. The Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Book Review - 'What the Dog Saw - And Other Adventures,' by Malcolm Gladwell - Review. What Malcolm Gladwell Saw. Out-Liar: What Malcolm Gladwell Gets Wrong About the Relative Age Effect in Pro Hockey.

In trying to bring more coverage to Bloody Elbow regarding sports and science, I thought it would be fitting to get interesting contributors to explore the relationship between the two.

Out-Liar: What Malcolm Gladwell Gets Wrong About the Relative Age Effect in Pro Hockey

And I can think of none more interesting than Jon Levey who was kind enough to allow me to post his article addressing the relative age effect. A brief paragraph from the original piece was published in Sports Illustrated in its August issue as part of a small 'Mythbusters' series. Below is the article in its entirety. Jon Levey can be found on twitter @72unforced. You can find more of his work here at his website. After lording over some of the most heralded teams in college basketball history, the great John Wooden concluded: "I'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.

" In Canada the eligibility cutoff for age-class hockey is January 1. One of the first to research relative age in Canadian hockey players was Dr. Jan-Mar: 25.7% 34.2% Video: Malcolm Gladwell: 'Speaking is not an act of extroversion' Twitter and Facebook cannot change the real world, says Malcolm Gladwell. Social networks, those loose, busy and self-absorbing communities of Facebookers and Twitterers, have always invited analogies from the insect world.

Twitter and Facebook cannot change the real world, says Malcolm Gladwell

If we are to accept the most common of them, then in the past week, Malcolm Gladwell, provocateur-in-chief at the New Yorker magazine, has poked a sharp stick into the online ants' nest. The twitterers have responded to his provocation by swarming on to blogs and websites to protect their uniting belief: that the future belongs to them. Malcolm Gladwell Part 1 - November 28, 2011 - Bon Mot Book Club - Vancouver. Twitter: Gladwell's social media argument 'laughable' Twitter founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone have derided Malcolm Gladwell's contention that the effect of online networks on social change is greatly exaggerated, saying his argument is "laughable".

Williams, who stepped down as chief executive of the social networking site last week, said Gladwell's New Yorker article was "entertaining but kind of pointless", while Stone said it was "absurd" to think that social networks were not "complementary to activism". The pair are the latest to launch a riposte to Gladwell's dismissal of social networks, after the article – subheaded "Why the revolution will not be tweeted" – began to make waves on Monday 4 October. Williams said: "It was a very well-constructed argument but it was kind of laughable.

"Anyone who's claiming that sending a tweet by itself is activism, that's ludicrous — but no one's claiming that, at least no one that's credible. If you can't organise you can't activate. Video: Malcolm Gladwell Challenges Accuracy of US News College Ranking System. Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers: The Story of Success) caused quite a stir with his New Yorker piece challenging the veracity of college ranking systems such as the U.S. News and World Report franchise: The Order of Things: What the College Rankings Really Tell Us. Is Malcolm Gladwell America's Most Successful Propagandist and Corporate Shill?

June 6, 2012 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Malcolm Gladwell - Leigh Bureau. Biography Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers — The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and now, his latest, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. He has been named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine and one of the Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers. Page 2 : Interview: Malcolm Gladwell. By Jeff MerronPage 2 Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for the New Yorker, a sports fan, and, most famously, the author of the red-hot 2000 bestseller "The Tipping Point.

" "Blink," his latest book, is subtitled, "The Power of Thinking Without Thinking," which is at No. 2 on the New York Times bestseller list. Gladwell is a master at linking sociological and psychological studies with the everyday and mundane, and has an uncanny ability to make connections between new ideas and old, seemingly insolvable problems. Almost invariably Gladwell will sprinkle anecdotes from the world of sports throughout his writings, whether they're in book form or in New Yorker pieces. Gladwell is on a long tour to promote "Blink," and when he's not writing or reading or thinking, he can often be found talking about his ideas to the most cutting-edge business leaders in the U.S. Reinventing Invention. Capitalizing on Human Potential. Malcolm Gladwell - Why do some succeed where others fail? What makes high-achievers different?

Malcolm Gladwell is wrong. Why Malcolm Gladwell Is Wrong About Steve Jobs, In Three Words. Malcolm Gladwell Is #Wrong. Essay Maria Popova. A Tipping Point for Gladwell Haters? Malcolm Gladwell Unmasked: A Look Into the Life & Work of America’s Most Successful Propagandist. Yves here. Yasha Levine and Mark Ames have launched the S.H.A.M.E. Project, which stands for “Shame the Hacks who Abuse Media Ethics.” Its approach is to provide information about the background and funding sources of well-recognized journalists and pundits so that the public will be in a better position to recognize bias and hidden agendas in their reporting and analysis. You can find a S.H.A.M.E dossier on Gladwell here. By Yasha Levine, President of S.H.A.M.E., an investigative journalist and a founding editor of The eXiled. “I’m necessarily parasitic in a way.

Malcolm Gladwell Searches Twitter for '60s Activism. Slactivism gets the Malcolm Gladwell treatment in his new New Yorker piece out today. Gladwell starts out promisingly enough.