Friday, June 14, 2013

Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell) -- Summary of Info on Wikipedia

Christopher Langan and J. Robert Oppenheimer, end up with such vastly different fortunes.

All Gladwell's books focus on singularities: singular events in The Tipping Point, singular moments in Blink, and singular people in Outliers. Gladwell was drawn to writing about singular things after he discovered that "they always made the best stories".[1] Convinced that the most unusual stories had the best chance of reaching the front page of a newspaper, he was "quickly weaned off the notion that [he] should be interested in the mundane".[1]

Outliers has been described as a form of autobiography, as Gladwell mixes in elements from his own life into the book to give it a more personal touch. Lev Grossman, writing in Time magazine, called Outliers a "more personal book than its predecessors", noting, "If you hold it up to the light, at the right angle, you can read it as a coded autobiography: a successful man trying to figure out his own context, how success happened to him and what it means."[2] He also surmised that Gladwell feels guilty about his success and believes that Christopher Langan should have experienced the same success that he had.[2]

 "you have to be born at the right moment; at the right place; to the right family (posh usually helps); and then you have to work really, really hard. That's about it."

He was also skeptical towards Gladwell's arguments for the 10,000-Hour Rule by countering that The Beatles' success had more to do with "the youthful spirit of the age, the vogue for guitar bands and a spark of collaborative chemistry".[19] Regarding the book, Paul McCartney, former member of The Beatles, said in an interview on August 6, 2010:
[...] I've read the book. I think there is a lot of truth in it [...] I mean there were an awful lot of bands that were out in Hamburg who put in 10,000 hours and didn't make it, so it's not a cast-iron theory. I think, however, when you look at a group who has been successful... I think you always will find that amount of work in the background. But I don't think it's a rule that if you do that amount of work, you're going to be as successful as the Beatles.[20]
Statistical analyst Jeff Sauro looked at Gladwell's claim that between 1952 and 1958 was the best time to be born to become a software millionaire. Sauro found that, although the 1952–1958 category held the most births, "[a] software millionaire is more than twice as likely to be born outside the 1952 to 1958 window then [sic] within it." Sauro notes that Gladwell's claims are used more as a means of getting the reader to think about patterns in general, rather than a pursuit of verifiable fact.[21]

No comments:

Post a Comment