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jerryking : malcolm_gladwell   31

What meeting Bernie Madoff taught me about our inability to read others
October 2, 2019 | Financial Times | by Gillian Tett.

Books:
Talking to Strangers, by Malcolm Gladwell.
The Human Swarm, by Mark Moffett.

Malcolm Gladwell, the writer, earned fame — and fortune — by producing books such as The Tipping Point (2000) that popularised human psychology. In his new study, Talking to Strangers, he looks at our propensity to misread other people. It is an increasingly pressing question for our polarised, fake-news era.

How should we interpret the signals we receive from others? This matters when it comes to detecting fraud, of course......It also matters in other ways. Today more than ever, we all suffer if we misread the signals we receive from different social groups. It is human nature to assume our own culture is the definition of “normal”, and to use this lens when we view others.....even traits that we assume are ­“universal”, such as [jck: visual cues] facial expressions, can vary hugely between cultures — and, of course, within societies that speak the same language.

Gladwell describes, for example, how social interactions between black and white communities in America are regularly marred by misunderstandings, with tragic consequences. “[This] is what happens when a society does not know how to talk to strangers,” he concludes.......Moffett then advances two broader points. First, he argues that humans (like ants) need a sense of tribal identity and belonging, with specialisations clearly defined; but, second, he insists that the way humans develop this tribal identity is crucially different from other animals.

Among some species, such as chimpanzees, trust only emerges through face-to-face contact between individuals in small groups; in others, creatures only co-operate if they can be instantly identified as coming from the same species. Ants kill anything that smells different.....what is amazing about humans – albeit rarely celebrated – is how we generally tolerate outsiders ­without instantly needing to kill them.

“Being comfortable around unfamiliar members of our society gave humans advantages from the get-go and made nations possible,” Moffett writes. “Chimpanzees need to know everybody [to ­tolerate them]. Ants need to know nobody. Humans only need to know somebody [for society to function.]” This achievement deserves far more attention, since it only works in two conditions. First, humans must feel secure in their own group (which they signal with symbols and rituals); second, “strangers” can only be smoothly absorbed if everyone learns to read different symbols too....If we want to “talk to strangers”, we need to teach our kids (and ourselves) to try to look at the world through strangers’ eyes – even if we must also recognise that we will never truly succeed.
assumptions  Bernard_Madoff  books  character_traits  cultural_identity  deception  Gillian_Tett  misinterpretations  psychopaths  signals  strangers  tribes  group_identity  lying  Malcolm_Gladwell  misjudgement  psychology  trustworthiness  visual_cues  writers 
october 2019 by jerryking
Why can’t we all be as productive as Picasso?
MARCH 28, 2018 | FT | Jo Ellison.

The year 1932 was a landmark moment for Picasso both personally and professionally. Having recently turned 50, the artist found himself feverishly experimenting with new styles and subjects as he reflected on his own contemporaneity and relevance. It was the year his marriage to Olga broke down, and the year in which a group of Paris dealers would mount his first ever retrospective.

Picasso’s “year of wonders” is obviously a cause for celebration — even if only for his astonishing output.
......As the New Yorker writer and critic Malcolm Gladwell so deftly pointed out in his 2008 book, Outliers, those who are blessed with the talent of a genius only become so after 10,000 hours of practice: the “magic number of greatness”. Debate has raged ever since as to the precise number at which the merely good become gifted, but Gladwell’s theory has always held a beguiling allure. If only I weren’t so appallingly lazy, I too might write a bestselling novel, or win a gold medal for figure skating, or fulfil my life-long dream of becoming a lead soprano in a West End musical. It’s always served as a peculiar comfort to know that the only obstacle to my success has been feckless indolence — and possibly the invention of the iPhone.

Which is why the Picasso exhibition was so grim. It wasn’t so much that he worked extremely hard to become the world’s most famous artist. Anyone could, technically, slave away in a studio for hours crafting their genius. It’s that he still found time to finesse such a gloriously well-rounded and fulsome life in the spaces he found in between.
Pablo_Picasso  Malcolm_Gladwell  artists  reflections  aging  genius  prolificacy  productivity  midlife  well-rounded  interstitial  personal_accomplishments  10000_hours 
april 2018 by jerryking
Episode 04 :: Revisionist History Podcast
“Carlos Doesn’t Remember” is the first in a three-part Revisionist History miniseries taking a critical look at the idea of capitalization—the measure of how well America is making use of its human potential.
Malcolm_Gladwell  social_mobility  capitalization  podcasts  human_potential 
july 2016 by jerryking
Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, and the World Championships - The New Yorker
AUGUST 24, 2015
Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, and the World Championships
BY MALCOLM GLADWELL AND NICHOLAS THOMPSON

But, now, back to Farah, I want to ask you a question. You wrote a great book last year, “David and Goliath,” that’s all about how underdogs can beat favorites, particularly by changing the rules of the competition and adopting strategies that haven’t been tried before. Let’s say that the Kenyan national team calls you next week and asks for advice on how to get ready to beat Farah at the 2016 Olympics—what do you tell them?

M: Before I answer the question, a quick note on form. I agree absolutely. In fact, as a serious runner, I can say that the thing that pains me the most about non-serious runners is their failure to understand that running is no more a “natural” or “intuitive” act than hitting a topspin forehand is. Do not heel strike—ever! Do not run with a water bottle! Running is not weight lifting! Relax your upper body!
underdogs  Malcolm_Gladwell  running 
august 2015 by jerryking
Malcolm Gladwell: the Snapchat problem, the Facebook problem, the Airbnb problem | VentureBeat | Marketing | by John Koetsier
JULY 24, 2015 | Venturebeat | JOHN KOETSIER.

Why marketers have a job
The deficiencies not only in data but of data are the reason marketers have a job, Gladwell said. In fact, it goes deeper than that:

“The reason your profession is a profession and not a job is that your role is to find the truth in the data.”

And that’s a significant challenge.
data  Malcolm_Gladwell  skepticism  Facebook  Snapchat  Airbnb  sharing_economy  marketing  shortcomings  developmental_change  generational_change  customer_risk  millennials 
july 2015 by jerryking
The Courthouse Ring - The New Yorker
AUGUST 10, 2009 ISSUE

The Courthouse Ring
Atticus Finch and the limits of Southern liberalism.

BY MALCOLM GLADWELL
the_South  race_relations  '50s  Malcolm_Gladwell 
july 2015 by jerryking
Malcolm Gladwell explains how being the underdog can give people a leg up
Oct. 05 2013 | The Globe and Mail | JARED BLAND.

Malcolm Gladwell's latest hypothesis is quite simple: What if being disadvantaged, being an underdog, is actually an advantage? As usual, Mr. Gladwell illustrates his argument with lots of fascinating studies and charming stories. But, unlike his previous books, David and Goliath feels especially resonant, perhaps because it arrives at a moment – of income inequality, government shutdowns, the Tea Party, the Occupy movement – when disadvantage is an ever-present reality.

Your book abounds with convincing and moving stories that demonstrate your central points. But there must be lots of exceptions – students who did really well in tiny classrooms, or dyslexics whose lives are constant struggles. What lessons did you learn from them?

The interesting question is what distinguishes the people who overcome adversity from the people who don’t. A lot of it has to do with the magnitude of the adversity. With the stories of the dyslexics who made it, they’re all intelligent people from middle-class homes. You’re not looking at people who have multiple sources of disadvantage. They have one basic source of disadvantage. Every single one of the successful dyslexics I talked to had one person in their life, at least, who always believed in them – their grandmother, a teacher along the way. They all came back to this one person. So that’s also a minimum condition for making it: You can’t have seven problems, obstacles. When you look at those who don’t make it, what you see is the multiplication of problems, the severity of problems.
interviews  Malcolm_Gladwell  underdogs  books  disadvantages  adversity  dyslexics  grit  multiple_stressors  obstacles 
october 2013 by jerryking
Lucy Kellaway on ‘David and Goliath’ by Malcolm Gladwell - FT.com
October 4, 2013 | Financial Times | by Lucy Kellaway.

David and Goliath is an ill-assorted collection of anecdotes that demonstrates various things we already know. It tells us that having nothing to lose can make you bolder. That if you deploy power indiscriminately, it may backfire. And that losing a parent early on can give you a leg up if you plan on becoming a genius....What ostensibly unites the stories are the twin ideas that an advantage can sometimes be a disadvantage and that a disadvantage can sometimes be an advantage. Yet there is something more powerful and more uplifting that also links them. The man with the poverty-stricken, loveless childhood who helped find a cure for children with leukaemia; the couple who forgave the murderer of their daughter and thus saved their sanity and their marriage; the pastor who sheltered Jews in occupied France – all these stories tell you something that is trite and profound and deeply cheering. It is that good beats bad – just when you least expected it.
books  underdogs  Malcolm_Gladwell  Lucy_Kellaway  book_reviews  anecdotal 
october 2013 by jerryking
Malcolm Gladwell says the Occupy movement needs to get more Machiavellian - The Globe and Mail
Dec. 02, 2011 | G&M | Ian Bailey.

"I am interested in, obviously, military power. I am interested in economic power. I am interested in any sort of situation. We're always in situations where power is an issue, where we're not equally matched with our competitors, compatriots, colleagues. Whenever there is a kind of disequilibrium, it's interesting. It's kind of puzzling and complex. That's what I am interested in exploring. Those moments of disequilibrium. "
Malcolm_Gladwell  asymmetrical  disequilibriums  economic_clout  protest_movements  political_power  Niccolò_Machiavelli  moments  Occupy_Wall_Street 
february 2012 by jerryking
Sorry, Strivers - Talent Matters - NYTimes.com
By DAVID Z. HAMBRICK and ELIZABETH J. MEINZ
Published: November 19, 2011

Research has shown that intellectual ability matters for success in many fields — and not just up to a point.
talent  Malcolm_Gladwell  IQ  cognitive_skills  strivers 
november 2011 by jerryking
Steve Jobs’s Real Genius
November 14, 2011 | : The New Yorker|by Malcolm Gladwell
Steve_Jobs  Malcolm_Gladwell 
november 2011 by jerryking
A Brief History Of DECISION MAKING
Based on Leigh Buchanan and Andre O’Connell, in Harvard Business Review,Jan.2006, p.32-41

Sometime around the middle of the past century, telephone executive Chester Barnard imported the term decision making
from public administration into the business world. There it began to replace narrower terms, like “resource allocation” and
“policy making,” shifting the way managers thought about their role from continuous, Hamlet-like deliberation toward a
crisp series of conclusions reached and actions taken.
Yet, decision making is, of course, a broad and ancient human pursuit, flowing back to a time when people sought guidance
from the stars. From those earliest days, we have strived to invent better tools for the purpose, from the Hindu-Arabic systems for numbering and algebra, to Aristotle’s systematic empiricism, to friar Occam’s advances in logic, to Francis Bacon’s inductive reasoning, to Descartes’s application of the
scientific method. A growing sophistication with managing risk, along with a nuanced understanding of human behavior and
advances in technology that support and mimic cognitive processes, has improved decision making in many situations.
Even so, the history of decision-making strategies – captured in this time line and examined in the four accompanying essays
on risk, group dynamics, technology, and instinct – has not marched steadily toward perfect rationalism. Twentieth-century theorists showed that the costs of acquiring information lead executives to make do with only good-enough decisions. Worse,
people decide against their own economic interests even when they know better. And in the absence of emotion, it’s impossible to make any decisions at all. Erroneous
framing, bounded awareness, excessive optimism: The debunking of Descartes’s rational man threatens to swamp our confidence
in our choices. Is it really surprising, then, that even as technology dramatically increases our access to information,
Malcolm Gladwell extols the virtues of gut decisions made, literally, in the blink of an eye?
decision_making  Octothorpe_Software  HBR  history  resource_allocation  Malcolm_Gladwell  Descartes  Francis_Bacon  good_enough  gut_feelings  human_behavior 
october 2011 by jerryking
Gladwell’s Brain
08. Jan 2007 | Washingtonian Magazine | By Chris Wilson.
Malcolm Gladwell, the quirky author of Blink and Tipping Point, writes
bestseller after bestseller. He got his start in Washington, and
Washington hasn’t been the same since... In May ‘87, Gladwell debunked
what he believed were 3 myths of the burgeoning domestic computer-chip
mkt. That journalistic strategy—to prop up and then bowl over the
conventional wisdom—has become his trademark….Since joining the New
Yorker in ‘96, Gladwell made a name as a journalist who translates
psychological research into accessible terms. His articles take a
low-altitude/high-altitude approach, beginning with narratives populated
with quirky characters and ballooning into examinations of broad social
phenomena…. “Malcolm was thoroughly unconventional,+ “a person of
natural curiosity”
Malcolm_Gladwell  profile  journalists  writers  unconventional_thinking  curiosity  myths  debunking 
june 2011 by jerryking
The Paradoxes of Intelligence Reform :
March 10, 2003 The New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell
Connecting the dots is easier said than done in retrospect. intentions
didn’t form a pattern. They formed a Rorschach blot. What is clear in
hindsight is rarely clear before the fact.
security_&_intelligence  pattern_recognition  Malcolm_Gladwell  connecting_the_dots  military_intelligence  sense-making  hindsight 
may 2011 by jerryking
black like them
April 29, 1996 | gladwell dot com | Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm_Gladwell  African-Americans  Caribbean  migrants  culture  attitudes  immigrants 
march 2011 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - Drilling for Certainty - NYTimes.com
May 27, 2010 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. "...the real issue has
to do with risk assessment. It has to do with the bloody crossroads where complex technical systems meet human psychology...we’ve come to depend on an ever-expanding array of intricate hi-tech systems. These h/w & s/w sys. are the guts of financial markets, energy exploration, space exploration, air travel, defense programs and modern production plants. These sys. which allow us to live as well as we do, are too complex for any single person to understand. (1) people can't
imagine how small failings can compound into catastrophic disasters. (2) people acclimate to risk (3) overconfidence in backup sys. and safety devices. (4) people match complicated technical sys. with complicated governing structures. (5) people tend to spread good news and hide bad news.(6) people in the same field suffer groupthink...Overlooks incentives that distort choices.
David_Brooks  oil_spills  complexity  risk-assessment  cognitive_skills  biases  Malcolm_Gladwell  certainty  overconfidence  psychology  incentives  catastrophes  groupthink  compounded  financial_markets  energy_exploration  space_exploration  air_travel  multiplicative  risk-perception  optimism_bias  risk-acclimatization  Richard_Feynman  cumulative  bad_news 
may 2010 by jerryking
The Case Against Marketing to ‘Influencers’
January 17, 2008 | - The Informed Reader - WSJ | by Wendy
Pollack. Social networks are so complex that consumer trends are
essentially random. Since it is impossible to know how one might start,
advertisers have a better chance of succeeding by aiming at a broad
audience than by spending money chasing highly connected people.
Malcolm_Gladwell  taste-makers  marketing  digital_influencers 
january 2010 by jerryking
Have you done your 10,000 hours? - The Globe and Mail
Margaret Wente

Published on Friday, Nov. 20, 2009 7:21PM EST Last updated on Monday, Nov. 23, 2009

"Outliers", if you have not. It's all about 10,00 hours of preparation and timing. Luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity.
Margaret_Wente  Malcolm_Gladwell  Success  authors  genius  talent  psychology  Outliers  books  10000_hours 
november 2009 by jerryking
Annals of Innovation: How David Beats Goliath: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker
May 11, 2009 |The New Yorker | by Malcolm Gladwell. How
underdogs create opportunities by first understanding their strengths,
weaknesses, and the rules of the game, and then changing the rules....To Gladwell, the story illustrated how traditions become blind spots. “Playing insurgent basketball did not guarantee victory. It was simply the best chance an underdog had of beating Goliath,” he wrote. “And yet somehow that lesson has escaped the basketball establishment.” The anecdote became the opening passage of the book David and Goliath, another fixture on bestseller lists....A few years ago, Ranadivé wrote a paper arguing that even the Federal Reserve ought to make its decisions in real time—not once every month or two. “Everything in the world is now real time,” he said. “So when a certain type of shoe isn’t selling at your corner shop, it’s not six months before the guy in China finds out. It’s almost instantaneous, thanks to my software. The world runs in real time, but government runs in batch. Every few months, it adjusts. Its mission is to keep the temperature comfortable in the economy, and, if you were to do things the government’s way in your house, then every few months you’d turn the heater either on or off, overheating or underheating your house.” Ranadivé argued that we ought to put the economic data that the Fed uses into a big stream, and write a computer program that sifts through those data, the moment they are collected, and make immediate, incremental adjustments to interest rates and the money supply. “It can all be automated,” he said. “Look, we’ve had only one soft landing since the Second World War. Basically, we’ve got it wrong every single time.”
anecdotal  basketball  batch_processing  blind_spots  books  coaching  decision_making  economic_data  innovation  interest_rates  Malcolm_Gladwell  massive_data_sets  money_supply  overlooked_opportunities  rainmaking  real-time  rules_of_the_game  strategy  strengths  Tibco  underdogs  U.S._Federal_Reserve  Vivek_Ranadivé  weaknesses 
may 2009 by jerryking
Fareed Zakaria GPS - CNN.com
BOOK OF THE WEEK
The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing by Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat.
The Lords of Finance by Liaquat Ahamed
"It's about how we got into the last great depression, and it contains good lessons on how to avoid this new one."
Science and Government ~ The Godkin Lectures at Harvard University, 1960 by C.P. Snow.
US POLITICS
• "The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power" by David E. Sanger.
THE ECONOMY
• "The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World" by Niall Ferguson.

HISTORY
• "The Wise Men" by Walter Isaacson.
• "Imagining India: The Idea of a Nation Renewed" by Nandan Nilekani
SOCIOLOGY
• "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell
FOREIGN POLICY
• "Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy" by Leslie Gelb
news  media  geopolitics  Fareed_Zakaria  globalization  cnn  interviews  Great_Depression  Outliers  Malcolm_Gladwell  books  Ian_Bremmer  David_Sanger 
april 2009 by jerryking

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