I’d seen this earlier, and now that I’m reading Blink, I went back and looked over it a bit more thoroughly.
Beneath Malcolm Gladwell’s cleverly-crafted ambiguity, beneath the branded facade, one finds, with surprising ease, a common huckster on the take. I say “surprising ease” because it’s all out there on the public record.
…Gladwell has shilled for Big Tobacco, Pharma and defended Enron-style financial fraud, all while earning hundreds of thousands of dollars as a corporate speaker, sometimes from the same companies and industries that he covers as a journalist.
Malcolm Gladwell is a one-man branding and distribution pipeline for valuable corporate messages, constructed on the public’s gullibility in trusting his probity and intellectual honesty in the pages of America’s most important weekly magazine, The New Yorker, and other highly prominent media outlets.
This Technoccult post is a good place to start breaking apart the polemic and looking at it more objectively. I’m not sure though, what it all means for my reading of Blink. How political is an investigation of our brain’s ability to make quick judgments? I suppose it would be dangerous not to consider the other side of this, but doesn’t Gladwell do exactly that in his thoughts on how expertise is developed in Outliers?