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BankerToBe
November 14th, 2010, 07:23 AM
Ok, I get it. Gladwell is a "fraud" according to some people. "Dr Phil without the licence but with an Afro". I get it. I really do.

But he's entertainment. Nothing more. His insights are simply like the bite size treats at the beginning of a cocktail party. I'm not expecting to eat a 10 course meal in the year 1770 at the Versailles Palace when I read Gladwell. I'm expecting to be entertained with little bites of information that are often not as connected in reality as the author may make out. I am expecting a book of entertaining generalizations written quite well.

So why so many detractors?

3 Quarks Daily (http://3quarksdaily.blogs.com/3quarksdaily/2008/06/down-i-say-down.html)


Malcolm Gladwell is a good writer and a clear writer. He also knows how to entertain. Blink is driven by a series of anecdotes and stories about people using their "adaptive consciousness," that faculty of the brain that makes intuitive decisions before the conscious brain has even realized it. Gladwell's first story is about a kouros (an ancient Greek statue of a young boy) purchased by the Getty museum. The museum hired lawyers and experts and scientists to authenticate the statue. They got the green light for the purchase. But another handful of experts not directly involved in the process didn't feel right about the statue. They came to a number of snap conclusions just by glancing at it that told them something was amiss. As Gladwell puts it, "In the first two seconds of looking—in a single glance—they were able to understand more about the essence of the statue than the team at Getty was able to understand after four months. Blink is about those first two seconds."

Economics Writer DeLong (http://delong.typepad.com/delong_economics_only/2007/01/malcolm_gladwel.html)


There is an easy answer to Gladwell's Higgs-boson question too:

The standard model of subatomic physics builds up everything out of a few basic elementary particles: the electron, the muon, and the tau; the electron-neutrino, the muon-neutrino, and the tau-neutrino; the up and down quarks; the charm and strange quarks; the top and bottom quarks; all the antiparticles of these; the gluon bosons; the weak-electromagnetic bosons W, Z, and the photon; and the Higgs boson.

So far we have found, in our particle accelerators, direct evidence of the existence of everything but the Higgs boson. If we are going to extend the standard model, we need to see if the Higgs boson is in fact what we think it is and does in fact behave as we think it does.

If we remove the Higgs boson from the standard model, it looks then as if nothing has any mass and everything travels at the speed of light always: the Higgs boson is kinda important in making our universe look like it does.

The impression I get is that neither Bill Booth nor Malcolm Gladwell tried very hard to get their respective questions answered in a way they would judge satisfactory.

Uncle Rice (http://www.youtube.com/wk4r) - in response to Gladwell's statement that "Mozart produced absolute garbage at age 10" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz4hPbHIZ6Y) - warning - strong opinion in video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6jW0M_Sdss

What to make of this?

infoshare
November 14th, 2010, 10:44 AM
Excerpt from the previous post- http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24290&p=344134&viewfull=1#post344134

There is an easy answer to Gladwell's Higgs-boson question too:

The standard model of subatomic physics builds up everything out of a few basic elementary particles: the electron, the muon, and the tau; the electron-neutrino, the muon-neutrino, and the tau-neutrino; the up and down quarks; the charm and strange quarks; the top and bottom quarks; all the antiparticles of these; the gluon bosons; the weak-electromagnetic bosons W, Z, and the photon; and the Higgs boson.

So far we have found, in our particle accelerators, direct evidence of the existence of everything but the Higgs boson. If we are going to extend the standard model, we need to see if the Higgs boson is in fact what we think it is and does in fact behave as we think it does.

If we remove the Higgs boson from the standard model, it looks then as if nothing has any mass and everything travels at the speed of light always: the Higgs boson is kinda important in making our universe look like it does.

-----------------------------------------


Speaking from my limited knowledge as a laymen and and what I recall from college science/physics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon#History) courses; Gladwell seems just wrong regarding is statement referred to as the 'Higgs-Boson Question'. In the ‘standard model’ of subatomic particals Muons were once (wrongly) classified as being not an ‘elemenatary particle’ but a composite particle called a mu meson; but now some years later Muons are not classified as mesons by modern particle physicists – it is now (correctly) classified as ‘an elemantry particle’.

The point being; we arrive at our current body of facts/theories thruough an ongoing series of approximations – something is always ‘left-out’.

That being said "we [do not] need to see if the Higgs boson is in fact what we think it is and does in fact behave as we think it does" in order it give our current ‘understanding’ of the physical universe the epistemic status of an established Theory and/or Fact.

Gladwell IMHO is quite the silver tounged charlatan: but in the final analysis I would vote him as being both enteraining and good for the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon#History

BankerToBe
November 15th, 2010, 06:13 AM
If he is a charlatan, then how can he be good for the world?

Ninjahedge
November 15th, 2010, 08:39 AM
Sometimes it is the fool that knows the most in the Kings court.

It is always wise to listen to what he speaks and hear what he truly says.

BankerToBe
November 15th, 2010, 10:32 AM
Sometimes it is the fool that knows the most in the Kings court.

It is always wise to listen to what he speaks and hear what he truly says.

So Gladwell is more fool than charlatan?

Or just, as has been said, a loud fool with nothing to say. ie as has been said, worse than Dr Phil with an Afro?

After reading Gladwell, I actually have newfound respect for Dr Phil.

Ninjahedge
November 15th, 2010, 03:29 PM
Nah, just giving a word of warning.

Quite frankly, I never heard of the dude! ;)

BankerToBe
November 15th, 2010, 04:07 PM
You're lucky then.