Outliers and The Ecology of Success

Since it’s New Years Eve I’ll keep it short. I’m posting the radio interview with Malcolm Gladwell where he discusses his most recent book Outliers. In the interest of time I’ve only posted one thought I had regarding this interview and what I’ve read thus far. Since Gladwell raises so many facinating issues and questions many blog posts are sure to follow.

Malcolm Gladwell: On Outliers and the Ecology of Success online audio clip

My thoughts -Flawed by Design:
While Gladwell questions how it is that our society can observe biases but do nothing to correct them, thus missing a brilliant opportunity to exploit the vast wealth of human potential, it would seem that answer is rooted well within American history. It is true to say that American wealth was built on the backs of an enslaved subset within our society. It is possible that the reason we observe biases but fail respond isn’t due to a lack of knowledge or understanding but rather a more subtle and divisive reinvention of a replacement subset, thus giving a modern complexion to American slavery. Today,this assertion not only hold staggering implications for Americans but snares subsets on a global scale due to the implementation of inherently flawed, opportunistic international trade agreements.

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4 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blog, Books, Education, Government, United States, Writer's

4 responses to “Outliers and The Ecology of Success

  1. Nice Site layout for your blog. I am looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Humes

  2. I don’t think everyone has an equal shot. Some of that is society. Some of that is what you’re born with. I do think there is opportunity to be had, though, for most people. My grandfather, for example, doesn’t have a college education. Yet my dad got a college education.

    That was a long time ago, though, and I do worry with how college tuition has skyrocketed. I think we are saddling young people with too much debt too early in life, and that this is a problem for all but the wealthiest of families. I don’t think we can blame the wealthy for that, though. There are more of us who are not wealthy than wealthy, yet people keep electing politicians who don’t fund education. So I listened to much of the Gladwell interview, but I think it’s more complicated than just what you were born to determining where you end up. I think the majority of our society just wants theirs, and doesn’t really care about the common good.

  3. Very interesting interview and topic; haven’t read the book yet, but surely will. Even though Gladwell can be and has been criticized for neglecting scientific due diligence when publishing theories, his achievement is to show how important it is to look at the world from different perspectives, and to question assumptions at the edge of our understanding (mass and multiplicative effects, consciousness, decision making).

    In this context, I can recommend the Overcoming Bias blog: http://cli.gs/Q0rhm8

  4. Timm,
    Another fantastic resource you’ve contributed to the discussion. Thanks for the link, commenting and the well thought additions to the dialog.

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