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309 pages, Hardcover
First published November 18, 2008
On my left shoulder there is an angel. She says it's risky to extrapolate from rarefied laboratory conditions to the real world. She says that publication bias in this field [psychology] is extensive, so whenever researches get negative findings, they're probably left unpublished in a desk drawer. And she says it's uncommon to see a genuinely systematic review of the literature on these topics, so you rarely get to see all the conflicting research in one place. My angel has read the books of Malcolm Gladwell, and she finds them to be silly and overstated.--Here's a revealing interview of Gladwell as a salesperson rather than a serious social theorist, study design be damned (emphases added; source: https://www.avclub.com/malcolm-gladwe... ):
The A.V. Club: Your books all focus on singularities—in The Tipping Point, singular events, in Blink, singular moments, and in Outliers, singular people. Was there a single instance in your life that made you start seeing the world in terms of single points?...My definition of "mundane" (banality) features salespeople (con artists?) pretending to popularize social theory while actually just selling quirky stories that conveniently re-enforce status quo myths.
Malcolm Gladwell: I just think I'm attracted to those kinds of singular things because they always make the best stories. I'm in the storytelling business, and so you're always drawn to the unusual. And early on, I discovered that's the easiest way to tell stories, so I've stuck with it ever since. And if you come up through a newspaper as I did, your whole goal is to get a story on the front page, and you only get something on the front page if it's unusual, so you're quickly weaned off the notion that you should be interested in the mundane.
Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.Malcolm Gladwell always makes you reconsider what you thought you knew. In Outliers, he drills down into the mythos of the so-called self-made man. It turns out that, underneath the surface, there is far more right-place-right-time luck than successful people seem to believe. The second half of the book, about cultural influences in individual success, is in some ways the more interesting part, if only because it is even more counterintuitive than the first half. A quick, entertaining and informative read. Recommended.