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Malcolm Gladwell and Outliers

breakz

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Checked it out at the library today and ripped through about 100 pages.

Its the usual collection of anecdotal observations supported by cherry-picked academic papers, especially the "10,000" figure that orbits the book. But it's interesting to see someone distinguish between types of intelligence. The idea isn't new or novel, but it runs parallel to what I've been thinking about recently ("intellect" vs. "savvy" etc.).

Anyone else read this or reading this now?

Aside: even as a guy famous for "dumbing down" academic ideas, Gladwell is extremely self-aware. Seems almost ashamed of his success.
 

jaydc7

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I actually listened to it on my iPod when I was driving. I found it interesting but felt some stories dragged on for a little too long. I think I would have enjoyed listening to the cliffs and a couple exerpts from the book instead of the whole thing.

Also, I went to school for engineering so distinguishing between the different types of intelligence became very apparent in my eyes. There were the Oppenheimers and the Langans (although nobody as intelligent as either of them), and everyone fit somewhere across the spectrum.
 

Pennglock

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Couldn't help picking the book up. I found the most interesting parts were those about placing kids in various tiers early in their sport and academic careers. I do believe school systems can be too rigid in locking children in a certain path based on some arbitrary distinctions (i.e. birthdays.)

I was pretty nonplussed with Gladwell's points tying certain men's ascent to the top of their industries with birthdays. Gates/Jobs/Javaguy and Rockafeller/Carnagie/Frick were born within a couple years of each other apparently and happened to rise to the top. Big deal? In any new industry there is going to be a sweet in terms of birthday for leaders to possess the requisite experience and vision to put together the winning company. The real-world results of leaders of breakthrough industries are obviously going to cluster around the sweet-spot birthday based on some probability distribution.

It just seems like Gladwell is trying to make an intuitive observation seem more spectacular by choosing the two most lucritive economic innovations in modern times- software and heavy industry. The guys leading the charge on electric clothes-irons were probably born within the same decade too... Im not sure either what Gladwell would make of the wide age spectrum of people leading mature industries- real estate, autos, etc.
 

JSC437

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Good book. Every time i see the "asian" kids in my grad school classes getting A+ on all the tests... it makes me think of the chapter on the discipline of the rice fields or whatever.

It was a good book... but i didnt like all the racial and social stereotyping... even if true.

Its funny... my friend works for the law firm Wachtell (spelling)... and he is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors who came here with nothing, his parents and uncles are all surgeons and all the grandkids are all harvard law graduates....

so in certain respects... many of the generalizations in the book... however biased... do have some truth at least in my experience in NYC culture.

If you get a chance to see a lecture... you should go. He was recently at 92nd street Y. I saw him speak about Tipping Point back when that came out. His best book by far... IMO
 

coopster

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I have hit a road block at about page 100.

Yeah some people are destined to greatness but need special circumstances to achieve it. I get it.

I will finish it but so far I enjoyed "Blink" much more.

His blog is really interesting too.
 

breakz

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I saw him speak a few years back when Blink came out. He's interesting to listen to in person, but nothing extraordinary.
 

unrated

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I read both Blink and Tipping Point, haven't had a chance to read Outliers yet. Read the intro though and it sure seemed interesting.
 

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