The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

An alternate cover edition exist here.The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This wide...

Title:The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0316346624
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:301 pages

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Reviews

  • Otis Chandler
    Oct 17, 2006

    Really good book. It read like a bestseller (quick read), but had a lot of substance to stop and make you think.

    three Rules of the tipping point: the law of the few, the stickyness factor, the power of context.

    Law of the Few (people who influence):

    - Connectors: super connectors (eg Paul Revere). William Dawes had the same mission as Paul Revere the same night but we haven't heard of him b/c Paul Revere was a super-connector & knew who to rouse.

    - Mavens: A Maven is a person who has informat

    Really good book. It read like a bestseller (quick read), but had a lot of substance to stop and make you think.

    three Rules of the tipping point: the law of the few, the stickyness factor, the power of context.

    Law of the Few (people who influence):

    - Connectors: super connectors (eg Paul Revere). William Dawes had the same mission as Paul Revere the same night but we haven't heard of him b/c Paul Revere was a super-connector & knew who to rouse.

    - Mavens: A Maven is a person who has information on a lot of different products or prices or places. This person likes to initiate discussions with consumers and respond to requests. They like to be helpers in the marketplace.

    - Salesmen: people with the skills of persuasion. Good at reading people entering into "conversational harmony" with them. Facial gestures (nods, smiles, frowns) are key indicators. Emotional Mimicry. Studies showed Peter Jennings viewers voted Republican b/c he unconsciously smiled more while covering Reagan.

    Stickyness Factor

    - Sesame street succeeded b/c it learned to make TV sticky. It did a TON of testing with focus groups of kids to increase stickyness (how much kids remembered) of each show. They would cut scenes that didn't hold attention until each show

    was good.

    - Blues Clues did even more testing and discovered that kids love repetition - it plays the same show 5 times in a row and kids love it.

    - make the message personal to make it memorable

    The Power of Context

    - Broken window theory. NYC cleaned up its crime epidemic by cleaning off the graffiti from its subways.

    - Often to change human behavior you have to change the context the problem is presented in.

    - Stanford Prison Experiment by Zimbardo proved that context matters.

    - law of 150: a person can't 'know' more than 150 people, so companies usually start to fail at that point. Gore-Tex breaks up a company into 2 once it hits 150, because they've found things work better that way.

  • Diane
    Aug 15, 2007

    The book that became a catchphrase! The term "tipping point" has become so commonly used in news stories that I wonder how many people know it came from a book.

    I read this back in 2000 when I was in grad school for sociology. It's a fun little book of case studies, many of which applied to what I was learning in my classes. Here it is 13 years later and I can still recall many of the details and theories, which shows how interesting I thought they were.

    Gladwell, who writes for

    , h

    The book that became a catchphrase! The term "tipping point" has become so commonly used in news stories that I wonder how many people know it came from a book.

    I read this back in 2000 when I was in grad school for sociology. It's a fun little book of case studies, many of which applied to what I was learning in my classes. Here it is 13 years later and I can still recall many of the details and theories, which shows how interesting I thought they were.

    Gladwell, who writes for

    , has a skill of weaving different elements and stories together into an enjoyable narrative. The gist of the book is how information spreads among people -- why do some ideas/products spread quickly and effectively, but others don't? Are there kinds of people who are better at transmitting information? (Hint: Yes, there are.)

    Some of the stories I remember best are about how "Sesame Street" was founded and its impact on literacy (it's surprisingly high!); how to reduce the spread of HIV among drug addicts; how the size of an office can enhance the feeling of community among its workers; how suicide can become more widespread in a region if someone of high stature commits it; and how crime can rise and fall in a city.

    But perhaps the most salient concept I still use is about connectors vs. mavens. A connector is someone who knows lots and lots of people. They are extroverts and are good at making casual acquaintances wherever they go. In contrast, a maven is a Yiddish term that means one who accumulates knowledge. These are people who gain the respect of friends and colleagues for giving good advice, so when they recommend something, the advice is usually followed. (For example, as a librarian I try to be a maven of good books.)

    Advertisers are interested in mavens because their opinions carry weight. Gladwell gives several examples of the differences between connectors and mavens, the main one being that the advice of a connector is not always taken even though he/she may give it to more people (because they know more people), but almost everyone follows the advice of a maven, even though they may give it to fewer people. So a maven might have more of an impact on spreading an idea.

    It would be interesting to reread this book now to see how it holds up, because many of these ideas seem to have become part of the cultural zeitgeist. I think I would still recommend it to anyone interested in some pop sociology.

  • Nick
    Feb 18, 2008

    This book is fascinating and I was disappointed to read that many other readers didn't think so. So here's my response.

    I think those readers are approaching this book the wrong the way when they critisize Gladwell for his inability to prove his points thoroughly. Sure, Gladwell could have dotted every i and crossed every t and shown every counter-example to the theories he's proposing. There's a word for the books that accomplish that: BORING. Gladwell is a storyteller and he knows how to keep

    This book is fascinating and I was disappointed to read that many other readers didn't think so. So here's my response.

    I think those readers are approaching this book the wrong the way when they critisize Gladwell for his inability to prove his points thoroughly. Sure, Gladwell could have dotted every i and crossed every t and shown every counter-example to the theories he's proposing. There's a word for the books that accomplish that: BORING. Gladwell is a storyteller and he knows how to keep the reader involved. By going into too much detail, he would lose his audience. Hopefully the reader who isn't convinced entirely can go into further detail by reading Gladwell's sources which are exhaustively referenced in the back of the book.

    Another criticism is that Gladwell doesn't come to a specific point or that his points are hazy (this was probably more true with "Blink"). I almost want to say "who cares?" This book and "Blink" are veritable digests of the latest advances in psychology and sociology. So what if the overarching idea of the book is loose? You have now understood countless fascinating anecdotes which you can reconstruct in your own way. It is Gladwell's loose structure that allows him to connect these disparate dots in a story that you can digest, and despite the accusations that he is not precise about his overall thesis, the individual incidents are very well explained.

    I love knowing the differences between Sesame Street and Blue's Clues and the differences between an adult's and a child's cognitive capabilities. Would I have read an entire book devoted solely to that? Probably not, but I was happy to read a chapter devoted to it, and a very well-written one at that.

    Perhaps I approach non-fiction in a different way than most--and I will admit that I'm fascinated by almost any new, dramatically different idea about any subject, regardless of whether or not I believe it to be true--but I think that people who go into this book seeking a different way of thinking about the world around us, macro & microcosmically, will enjoy themselves. Those who go into the book seeking to be convinced beyond doubt that that way of thinking is the correct way, will not.

  • Jessica
    Feb 26, 2008

    This book grew out of an article Malcolm Gladwell was writing for the New Yorker. Frankly, it is better suited for a 5-7 page article rather than a 280 page book. The crux of the book is that the "stickiness factor" of epidemics (whatever the nature) begins with a tipping point. This tipping point arises because of three distinct sets of individuals: mavens, connectors and salespeople. He also examines the well-known S-curve which begins with innovators, then early adopters, followed by the earl

    This book grew out of an article Malcolm Gladwell was writing for the New Yorker. Frankly, it is better suited for a 5-7 page article rather than a 280 page book. The crux of the book is that the "stickiness factor" of epidemics (whatever the nature) begins with a tipping point. This tipping point arises because of three distinct sets of individuals: mavens, connectors and salespeople. He also examines the well-known S-curve which begins with innovators, then early adopters, followed by the early majority and finally, the late majority. He is overwhelmingly redundant in expressing his ideas, providing examples of epidemics throughout the text while comparing them to one another (children's television, Hushpuppy shoes, Paul Revere's ride, nicotine, and the list goes on and on...). The Conclusion, the eighth and final chapter, was pointless: if the reader did not understand Gladwell's point by now, he or she must have been as lost as Washington Redskins' new coach Jim Zorn when he commented his family was proud to wear maroon and black.

    All that said, the book was not horrible. It was a well written first person narrative and the lessons of the emergence of epidemics are applicable to almost any career or lifestyle, as Gladwell demonstrated with his countless examples.

  • Sarah
    Jul 06, 2008

    Can I give this zero stars?

    When I read this book, back in 2006, I got really mad and wrote a scathing review of it on Amazon.com. Here it is:

    "I've been duped!, June 20, 2006

    By Sarah (California, USA) - See all my reviews

    This book sucks. Don't waste your hard earned money on it. Let me save you a few bucks here: Malcolm Gladwell is either a self-aggrandizing ass who is too busy thinking he is the god of marketing to notice that a great majority of his arguments lack any kind of cohesion or credib

    Can I give this zero stars?

    When I read this book, back in 2006, I got really mad and wrote a scathing review of it on Amazon.com. Here it is:

    "I've been duped!, June 20, 2006

    By Sarah (California, USA) - See all my reviews

    This book sucks. Don't waste your hard earned money on it. Let me save you a few bucks here: Malcolm Gladwell is either a self-aggrandizing ass who is too busy thinking he is the god of marketing to notice that a great majority of his arguments lack any kind of cohesion or credibility whatsoever, or he is just so excited about his self-proclaimed 'paradigmatic' keys to the essense of social epidemics that he conveniently forgets to include that much needed credible evidence to support his long-winded theories, resulting in a book fit to satiate the appetite of audiences hungry for pop pseudo-science BS that will make them feel smart for reading it. Basically all this book is is a compilation of anecdotal evidence that is supposed to prove the truth in his words. Gladwell's arguments clearly violate some very important rules guiding intelligent thought: correlation does not imply causation (and the fact that two events happened on one occasion at the same time does not necessarily imply correlation), and the idea that a theory is bankable because one instance of anecdotal evidence exists. Umm, okay, that's like saying that I know a guy who won the lottery (I don't, but humor me), so it must be a logically good place to invest my paychecks (I don't have paychecks, but, please, humor me). I mean, I'm a 21-year-old college student, and not even a GOOD college student at that, and I could easily point out the flaws in his arguments -not just a single argument, but ALL of his arguments -as soon as I read them. I didn't even have to put the book down to think for a few minutes before I realized how absolutely pointless and downright ludicrous his 'insights' were. All that aside, his writing style is so patronizing and self-congratulatory that I could hardly stand to read any more than five pages at a time before my face got all scrunched up and I started uncontrollably muttering curse words under my breath. It makes me sad that people read this book and consider it a revelation in modern psychological and scientific thinking, not seeing it for what it is: an apparently very successful (thanks, readers of America) profit-driven waste of time. Gladwell made a ton of money off what probably only took him, like, 15 minutes to write, and THAT is the only thing genius about this book."

    Yeah, I was kinda mad when I wrote that. This book doesn't really do much in the way of illustrating how to market ideas -rather, it seems more like a marketing tool itself. Gladwell sure knows how to create a brand for himself, complete with a legion of raving followers who can't think for themselves. That scares me.

  • Trevor
    Jan 18, 2009

    I wish there was another word I could use instead of sexy. I mean it metaphorically, obviously, but I want to tell you about the thing that I find to be the most sexy thing imaginable – and I’ve realised that sexy isn’t really the word I should be using at all. You realise, of course, I’m talking about intellectually stimulating or satisfying when I say sexy. That is what I want to talk about – the thing that gives me my biggest intellectual buzz.

    Look, it isn’t any of the obvious things you migh

    I wish there was another word I could use instead of sexy. I mean it metaphorically, obviously, but I want to tell you about the thing that I find to be the most sexy thing imaginable – and I’ve realised that sexy isn’t really the word I should be using at all. You realise, of course, I’m talking about intellectually stimulating or satisfying when I say sexy. That is what I want to talk about – the thing that gives me my biggest intellectual buzz.

    Look, it isn’t any of the obvious things you might be thinking of – and all of those obvious things this book has in abundance. Not that I actually read this book – I listened to it as an audio book, and that is important to say because I don’t know if the book always has the afterword – and it is something in the afterword that I loved most about this otherwise merely wonderful book. (As you may have guessed, we will be returning to this later)

    What I’m saying is that Gladwell is a sexy kind of guy anyway, even before he did the best of all possible things in the afterword of this book. He is what I like to call an interpreter. I think he even refers to himself as this somewhere. He straddles a number of worlds – psychology, medicine, marketing, social theory, economics – and he draws lines between those worlds in the way one might if one was to place a piece of plastic film over another piece of plastic film on an overhead projector, so that what is written on both films of plastic merge to ‘complete the picture’ in beautifully interesting ways. Now, that is sexy – but it is only level one sexy. I love watching relationships and patterns appear and I love a good story and Gladwell knows his stuff when it comes to patterns and he really knows how to tell a good story. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing the matter with level one sexy – but it is intellectual foreplay and needs something more to be truly satisfying.

    One of the things this book is about is trends. How do trends start? What makes it fashionable for kids to start smoking? Why do books by unknown authors suddenly become best sellers? How is it that two people can do much the same thing (and he gives a fascinating example from American History to explain this) and yet have completely different (in fact, nearly opposite) results?

    Or why did Hush Puppies, a brand of shoes that had virtually died, suddenly become – in the lingo of the streets – uber-cool? (Yes, I know, ‘don’t try being cool, McCandless, it really doesn’t suit’.)

    Essentially, he talks about a small number of personality types that exist in the world that kick trends along, and these types of people help make ‘the virus of the latest thing’ spread to us all. Those types of people are, communicators (people who know essentially everyone), mavens (people who know essentially everything) and salesmen. Sometimes we think that if we want to spread an idea far and wide we should find a way to get it to as many people as possible – much like spam. But when was the last time you bought something recommended to you from a piece of spam you received in your inbox? See what I mean. But I guess most of us know some car nut we go to when we are thinking of buying a car, someone who reads all the car magazines and (maybe) even spends his (it is

    a boy) weekends ‘test driving’ the latest models. This is the sort of person who can not only tell you the difference between an overhead cam-shaft and polyunsaturated margarine, but also why the cam-shaft is better than butter. (In case you have not quite worked it out yet, I am not one of those mavens)

    In a world awash with ‘information’ – much of which is lies (although it is probably best we call it by its more polite name, advertising) – we are becoming, ironically enough, more dependent on word of mouth information from sources we know we can trust. Now, isn’t that a wonderful thesis and a direct confirmation of what you probably already suspected, but hadn’t put into words yet. I guess this might be the second level of intellectual sexy.

    The next level towards intellectual nirvana is when someone says something totally unexpected that makes my brains resonate in a way that I know will have me thinking for weeks. And he did that this morning as I was walking back from the beach by talking about collective memory. This is penultimate in the scale of intellectual sexy – I knew when he said this that what he was saying was going to end up in my review.

    They did a test on people, they put people through a series of remembering tasks – and they gave them these tests in pairs. Some of the pairs were people who didn’t know each other from a bar of soap – and the others were people who were literally couples, people in relationships. And the result? Well, the people in the relationships did lots and lots better at remembering stuff than the people that the fickle hand of fate flung together.

    Isn’t that fascinating? Doesn’t that send a shiver down your spine? But it gets better. He then goes on to talk about why this might be the case – and essentially he claims that we use our partners as a memory extension slot for our own brains. In a relationship there is a division of labour when it comes to remembering stuff – with one partner remembering the kids’ birthdays and the other remembering how to use the ice cream maker.

    And now comes the bucket of ice water that made me stop on my walk and think, “God, now, isn’t that really, really interesting”. Part of the reason people fall into a deep depression when they go through a divorce (and I thought, perhaps even die shortly after their ‘life partner’dies) may not just be that their partner has

    taken away a part of their heart, but

    taken away a part of their brain. It is that line from Laurie Anderson about when her father died how she felt like a library had burnt down (I think from

    , just before

    , but I could be wrong).

    But do you know what is the sexiest thing about this book? And the reason why you should avoid a first edition and get an edition with the afterword? It is that after he has built a pretty good case for something, made a rather good comparison that he uses to sustain the last bit of the book, after he has finished writing the book, after it is printed and ‘done and dusted’, he thinks about it some more and makes a couple of major revisions to some of his thinking in the afterword that goes in a later edition. It is utterly clear to me that if he had the chance to write this book again he would do it differently. Essentially, the afterword is showing us how he would have made it different. He is showing that no idea is ever finished with, no idea can be finally put aside as a shining trophy, only to gather dust and bird shit, but ideas are only worthy of that name if they are alive and alive things change and grow or sometimes they sicken and die.

    And someone who does that, that goes away and thinks about it even after it is done and finished with and then comes back and says, “Actually, I could have done that a bit better, let me see if I can just say it this way…” Now, that is sexy – that is the best. This book is not nearly as good as

    , and I only read this book because I read that book. But do you know what? This book is good enough that if I’d read this book first I would have gone on read that book too.

  • Jason
    Jul 01, 2010

    Here’s why you need to read

    .

    !!

    Look, it’s not because the writing is poor, the concepts disorganized, or the book fails to instruct. It’s simply that the ideas are anachronistic. This is no fault of Malcolm Gladwell. He published in 2000, wrote in ‘99, and used case studies from the mid-90’s. How could he have known he was publishing a book about social media on the eve of social media’s inchoate move into our social DeoxyriboNucleicAcid, or that the overgrowth of soci

    Here’s why you need to read

    .

    !!

    Look, it’s not because the writing is poor, the concepts disorganized, or the book fails to instruct. It’s simply that the ideas are anachronistic. This is no fault of Malcolm Gladwell. He published in 2000, wrote in ‘99, and used case studies from the mid-90’s. How could he have known he was publishing a book about social media on the eve of social media’s inchoate move into our social DeoxyriboNucleicAcid, or that the overgrowth of social connectedness would evolve at rates understated by the term logarithmic.

    This is a snappy little book--a good one for Thursday evening book club affairs. I quite liked it. Digestible chapters with jaunty titles, connecting for the reader complex sociocultural beliefs to gravid marketing slogans. Pert discussion, and a context that builds on previous conclusions, leading the audience like an unbridled horse gently to water. Gladwell, he’s a good salesman, one that can close a deal without hiding a rotten premolar or repeatedly glancing at his wristwatch. It’s 3.5 stars.

    Nevertheless, if you’ve fogged a mirror in the last 10 years, much of what Gladwell worked hard to synthesize in year 2000 is merely a matter of course in the mercurial, social, connected life we lead today. Essentially the book is about marketing. (There’s more herein than marketing, but that’s what I’d like to focus on). The title underscores a link throughout the book, viz., that no matter the medium, information reaches a ‘tipping’ point beyond which it spreads above and away from any reasonable measure of altitude control. He repeatedly uses the term epidemic, and I like the image that word conjures in my mind when I think of how pervasive and persistent and contagious marketing can be (like the scene in Ten Commandments where the pestilence of God’s wrath moves down from the moon and like a swampy yellow miasma flows through the streets of Ramses’s Egypt) . Gladwell lays down some meaty discussion about the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefore's’ of the nature of networked relationships, using sociology, psychology, penal philosophy, genetics, pop culture, economics, archeobiology, and personal interviews.

    It’s a snapshot of a fossil, though. He is in essence describing our world when information was still Near Real Time (NRT), a military acronym meaning ‘actionable’ but not ‘exactable.’ We upgraded that acronym circa 2004-2006 when information became--no shit--Real Time. Real Time worldwide data is a phenomena we’ve only recently begun to comprehend and manipulate. Write a discussion about how your start-up can triangulate consumers, and you’ll have a lead story in Harvard Business Review. Develop an android app that geolocates high volume consumers, and Starbucks will give $$credit$$ to the first 10 people that check into their stores in Cleveland, Charlotte, and Chattanooga. Twitter trends topics, not daily, but hourly. Google Metrics displays global boolean traffic on word searches RIGHT NOW. Crowdsourcing, flash mobs, #hashtags. I can set a Google alert that pings me the next time Brittany Spears has an inadvertent bush shot at the Palms Casino. I can scan barcodes on my phone, and know by a factor of pennies where I can get the cheapest sun dried tomatoes. I can listen to any law enforcement scanner in the country while sitting in my tighty-whities in my fall-out basement. Gowalla, Foursquare, StumbleUpon, grooveshark, HTML5, mashable, MMORPGs, skype, Goodreads. And the every present memes--viral video memes, photo memes--Christ, look at the major news networks during an election and watch the TV anchors in the studio move to the floating, diaphanous plates of glass and enlarge voting counties and predict elections with two-fingered zoom.

    Malcolm Gladwell could not have foreseen the breadth and rapidity of tipping points in today’s market. No one could have--not even industry leaders in year 2000. Tipping points are not isolated events anymore, like the slow resurgence of Hush Puppy shoes from 1994-1996 (the most cited tipping point in the book, and one Gladwell considers--by his own criteria--rapid). They are daily memes, forcing us into ever tighter circles of consumption, and causing many of us to brux our teeth when we lose cell coverage or go to airplane mode on our smart phones. SMART PHONES--a technology by itself that puts the rust on Gladwell’s conception of tipping points. Despite sound research methodology, and pertinent statistical evaluation, I don’t envision many people going back to

    . It’s like reading last week’s headlines; last year’s Consumer Reports; financial data from 2008; political promises from 2006; real estate values from 2005, or the Manhattan skyline on 10 Sep 2001. Maybe for an anecdotal dissertation by some students squirreled away at Weber State or Lehigh University, but other than that I think most of the 77,000 Goodread reviews of this book occurred much nearer the time it was on the best seller list in 2000-2001. There are 4 copies available at my library. It ain’t flying off the shelves anymore, and neither is the 1994 Rand McNally Atlas. You dig?

    But, wait, let’s go deeper. I dogeared these passages.

    Here are the titles of the 4 parts of this book.

    -- These are important constituents in marketing, but Gladwell speaks of months and years. We both know it's days and hours in 2011.

    (p. 22)

    -- Social connectedness was an ephemeral measurement in 1999. Now organizations have followers (see Facebook and Twitter) and can measure their daily virility (see the ‘like’ button and most-viewed videos on Youtube) and watch their epidemic spread (see trending topics on technorati or mashable or gizmodo).

    (p. 32)

    -- Yes, word of mouth is, indeed, persuasive. But, today we are motivated and persuaded even more by word of text!!!

    (p. 54)

    -- This is perhaps Gladwell’s most prophetic statement. I know more people today having never met face to face than actual people I knew in 1999.

    (p. 67)

    -- Today Lady Gaga, Kanye West, and Ben Affleck, combined, have more ‘followers’ than the population of Panama.

    (p. 98)

    -- Multiply all of the above figures by a factor of 10 to the 2nd power. A rate of growth that cannot be compared by measuring from 1999 back to the existence of Abraham.

    (p. 172)

    -- The skillful use of group power makes me feel violated in today’s marketing environment.

  • Patrick Justo
    Oct 24, 2012

    How the flying fuck did this piece of shit ever get published? How on God's green earth did this thing become a bestseller?

    Yes, I'm the last person in America to read The Tipping Point, and I'm glad I waited. Now that all the hype has burned off, it's easy to see this book for what it is: a very well crafted collection of half-truths and speculation, sold as "truth".

    Let's look at one example. I read The Tipping Point as an ebook, so my pages might not match completely with yours, but it's the s

    How the flying fuck did this piece of shit ever get published? How on God's green earth did this thing become a bestseller?

    Yes, I'm the last person in America to read The Tipping Point, and I'm glad I waited. Now that all the hype has burned off, it's easy to see this book for what it is: a very well crafted collection of half-truths and speculation, sold as "truth".

    Let's look at one example. I read The Tipping Point as an ebook, so my pages might not match completely with yours, but it's the story about the AIDS virus, Chapter One, Section 2, page 24. In writing about a weird epidemic among newborns in the 1950s, Gladwell says of the lead scientist, "Goudsmit thinks that this was an early HIV epidemic."

    Nothing wrong with that. Gladwell is reporting what a scientist thinks. Gladwell then offers an extended quote from Dr. Goudsmit, which is loaded with conditional statements: "this adult could have died of AIDS", "he could have transmitted the virus", "she could have given birth to an HIV infected child", "unsterilized needles could have spread the virus".

    Again, all well and good: Goudsmit was speculating, and making it clear that what he was saying was not certain, but that it "could have" happened.

    Then Gladwell returns and destroys the careful foundation he had built by making concrete statements about things that a moment before were only hypotheses: "They defeated HIV", "The strains of HIV circulating in the 1950s were a lot different from the HIV circulating today", "HIV itself changed" None of this is proven by any of the information Gladwell gave us. All of it is speculation. But Gladwell draws firm conclusions from things that are, at best, educated guesses. I'm sorry but that's just wrong.

    Actually, I'm

    sorry. What Gladwell did is so wrong it's unforgivable.

    I've been a journalist for 20 years, and I work with some of the finest fact checkers in the world. If I ever handed in a badly reasoned piece of shit like this book, they'd tear me a new asshole. (No they wouldn't. They're very nice people. But they would tear the manuscript a new asshole, as they should.) More to the point, I have enough respect for myself, my readers, and my fact checkers that I'd never hand in something like this in the first place. That Gladwell thought he could get away with it (and let's face it, he did get away with it) is metaphorically criminal. Fuck him.


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