Gladwell on Outliers

New York Magazine profiles prolific mind-focused science writer Malcom Gladwell and previews his upcoming book on the unpredictable factors that propel the super-successful to the top.

Gladwell writes incredibly compelling books about psychology and culture that have been wildly popular. The article mentions a multi-million dollar advance for his forthcoming book Outliers.

I have to say, I read his last book, Blink and enjoyed every page but didn’t quite get the punchline. It seemed to be saying sometimes instant judgements can be better than considered judgements, and other times not, but I wanted to know when they are better.

However, Gladwell’s books are as enjoyable as much for their eclecticism as his gripping narrative, and even as a collection of stories about interesting studies I found them eye-opening.

The New York Magazine discusses Gladwell and his work, and it’s probably true to say that he’s one of the most influential people in the public understanding of psychology, so he is always worth keeping tabs on.

Link to New York Magazine article ‘Geek Pop Star’.

3 Comments

  1. Posted November 12, 2008 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    Read any of Gerd Gigerenzer’s work on heuristics and fast and frugal rules.
    http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/gigerenzer03/gigerenzer_index.html

  2. Posted November 12, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree about Blink. It’s an excellently written book, but should I be making more snap decisions, or fewer? And when? Was it supposed to have any connection to the real world after all that?
    I’d certainly read another book by Gladwell though – I just hope that it meanders towards some sort of conclusion.

  3. Posted November 12, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Do you recall Burton’s critcisms about “Blink” in “On Being Certain”? Essentially he said that Gladwell started by saying he was completely enamored by Tomothy Wilson’s “Strangers to Ourselves” and agreed with Wilson that we cannot effectively enter and influence the “hidden layer” of the unconscious, but then in the rest of Blinl goes on to argue that we can do just that. I’m curious to know your take on this.


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