For those who don’t know who the hell this Gladwell guy is, he’s the author of seminal books like The Tipping Point and Blink. He used to write for the Washington Post and is currently writing for the New Yorker. I did a review of blink some time ago. Suffice to say, he’s considered a thought leader, specially by business and marketing people.
For those who do know, think they know, or are familiar with Malcolm Gladwell, I feel the need to remind them that he is not a scientist, nor a sociologist. He’s just a journalist that thinks about things that not many people think about, does the research, and writes about them in a way that lowbrow citizens like myself can understand.
Not surprisingly, I ordered Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, Outliers: The Story of Sucess, last Monday. So I’m waiting. I’ve been reading the promo interviews. I particularly liked and recommend the New York Magazine interview. I have to admit that he didn’t look too good in the Colbert Report interview.
But I’m going to stop reading anything about the man until I read Outliers, specially the negative reviews. I almost read completely the NyTimes Book review, but I’m saving it for later.
Which brings me to what’s bugging me about the recent reactions. See here and here. He always had critics, but all of sudden, it seems, everyone is smarter than Gladwell. Everyone now can handle “true” science, and read books written by real anthropologist and sociologists. It’s a little silly. Kind of like hipsters complaining that the bands music is too commercial and their first one was better.