De Pseudo-Profundis: Malcolm Gladwell
The New Statesman has a wickedly harsh piece on Malcolm Gladwell and his “pseudo-profundity” by Steven Poole.
There are two important takeaways from the piece, which get right into the heart of why I think that the fact that Malcolm Gladwell is popular is a dangerous thing. And how popular he is: he sells like hotcakes, and he has direct access to the brains of the elites. My friends in the pharmaceutical industry tell me of seminars where he holds the keynote address for cosmic sums. His New Yorker pieces get bandied about Twitter and his memes feed straight into popular culture. Did you know that it takes 10.000 hours to become a virtuoso at something? Did you know that you make some of the best decisions in the blink of an eye? Of course you did. You heard someone at a dinner party citing Gladwell. And maybe he’s right…
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