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bob

Find out how the rich jerk makes so much money. You dont have to buy his ebook you can get the information here for free:

http://www.richjerkfree.com

Christopher Horn

Does anyone else, being a fan of the comparatively high level of discourse on this blog, feel a little neglected that the owner has not updated for such a while?

One has this idea of Malcolm working frantically to meet a deadline for some multimillion dollar book advance, while we anonymous lurkers wait patiently for another slab of meat to be thrown to the bloggy jackals :)

J Pody

Agreed

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Michael Gauet

Malcolm, I've read 'The Tipping Point' four or five times. The ideas you elucidate in this insightful work truly changed my mind from the inside out about how social phenomenon manifest. Thank you for the sticky concepts. They are always in the front of my mind.

Come see me at myspace.com/skyaak.

CU, Michael Gaudet
Artist/Inventor

Michael Gaudet

It's Gaudet, not Gauet.

Andrew Miller

"Maybe, in other words, we have underestimated the value of impartial, professionally-motivated, under-paid and overworked generalists in tackling the kind of information-rich, analysis-dependent “mysteries” that the modern world throws at us."

Sounds like a little bit of self-justification here. Nonetheless - any group with a little more independence should (emphasis on the word should) get a better answer, and that includes journalists that don't get swallowed up by fraternization with their subjects. Traditionally, corporations - if they really want to know bad news about themselves and their practices - set up internal consulting groups that operate independently of the corporation as a whole. Corporate Executive Board, a company that evaluates best and worst business practices, has its own consulting division that evaluates its own business programs and delivers bad news up the chain of command. Consider checking them out - the limits of a good internal opinion, special interest be damned.

Rogers Place

These company officers just need to put the facts on the table. If your company is only worth $2 million put that down on paper. When you try to make it look like your worth $25 million, someone will want to cash in their shares and you'll be unable to meet it. Just be honest in your bookeeping.

Margaret

Mr. Gladwell and Readers,

This seeming paradox reminds me of nothing so much as a wronged spouse who is the last to know that the husband or wife is having an affair. The friends and neighbors all seem to know, yet not the one person with the most to lose.

I would suggest that this is because once we have a lot at stake we involve our emotions in our perceptions and decisions. Once the emotions are involved, logic goes out the window.

This could also illuminate why some jealous, neurotic people irrationally hold on to the belief that their spouse is having an affair, when no evidence exists to support this claim.

For more astute examples of stress induced irrationality, see Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker article on "Why Some People Panic and Others Choke."

best wishes,
Greta

Yaacov Iland

If you read Fool's Gold: the Makings of a Global Market Fraud, which is about Bre-X, you'll see that the fraudsters usually create an environment in which those organizations that might seem to have a financial stake in uncovering the fraud, actually have a stake in perpetuating it. So the journalists may actually be the ones with the most to gain from investigation, or at least perceive themselves as such.

Elke

Another thought... On a superficial level, I agree that the Enron mess (and I lost no money, for what it's worth) could be categorized as a "mystery."

But, again, intent is important. I thought it was interesting that the average documents associated with an SPE run about 20 pages, whereas the Enron papers averaged closer to 1,000 pages. A needle in a haystack may also be a mystery and not a puzzle. But if someone INTENTIONALLY hides one there, that context is pretty important. There is an assumption of truthfullness in SEC filings... And while the "truth" was included in the filings, it was hidden among a lot of other stuff, perhaps put there intentionally. Telling the technical truth doesn't cut it for me, they were telling everyone the truth in the sense that if I say I make a little less than a "Million a Year," I could be talking about pesos. If I expect others to determine what the denomination is, well, is that "receiver error"? Maybe. But my intent is that people would misinterpret my words.

Greetz
Elke

Paul Maidment

Malcolm, This article supports Paul's (different Paul) comment earlier and highlights academic research that suggests that reporting is market-driven, though its incentives are not monetary: How The Media Missed Enron
http://www.forbes.com/columnists/2006/01/30/enron-media-scandal-cx_pm_0130enronmedia.html

Mark Hengel

Mr. Gladwell.

It's April 20 and your last post hit the web January 4. I admire your attempt to rid the Internet of blogarrea. However, it depresses me that a man paid to think for a living cannot find a topic.

mark.

Kisna

Yup, I’ve seen those heat maps and they’re fun to look at. I’ve wondered how the data gets stored though; there’s a trade-off of granularity of the data vs. storage space..

http://www.pzno.com

Kisna

The Corporatization of Online Media...

I know we are dismantling the newspaper industry, but fret not, the effect is simply a lateral move to an "online newspaper" industry. It looks like a stop-change-start because the online newspaper landscape looks like the old newspaper industry of the 1850s (if I had to guess).

http://www.zonz.net

Kisna

I would say Press has always put forward cases which others have missed and for whatever reasons they work on these stories,-to be the first one to have new story or to get a pat on the back,they have exposed many companies & people.

http://www.kosarit.com

Kisna

As you properly note, the interests of a diverse set of shareholders will no doubt differ due to their varied individual interests.

http://www.kosarit.info

emlak

thank you very good nice topic thanks :)

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Please help me expand the topic.

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Ken

Dear Malcolm,
As an avid reader of your blog and a reader of your books and articles, I would like to point your attention to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/hbsp/hbr/articles/article.jsp?ml_action=get-article&articleID=R0702A&ml_page=1&ml_subscriber=true The article cites the work of Duncan J. Watts titled: The accidental Influentials.

It attempts to assert that: Malcolm Gladwell argues that “social epidemics” are driven in large part by the actions of a tiny minority of special individuals. The idea seems intuitively right—we think we see it happening all the time. Nevertheless, this isn’t actually how ideas spread. It’s better to focus on getting enough plain, ordinary people to sign on.

What is your comment?

evden eve nakliye

thank you very very nıce thank you very very much...

evden eve nakliye

thank you very very nıce thank you very very much...

joe

Thanks Malcolm. How about some newer posts?

Hope for a new book soon.

gordon in philly

These "underpaid, overworked generalists" seemed to totally miss and not question the most important "analysis rich mystery of our time", the war in Iraq. While i love your books, I think that being part of the journalistic profession makes you look at it through rose colored spectacles.

Andrew

interesting.

one time i asked a two experts whether asking the right question is better than giving the right answer...the specialist answered affirmatively and the generalist said 'let me think it over.'

ThunkDifferent.com

Update this baby!

"we wanna know...
"we wanna know...

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  • I'm a writer for the New Yorker magazine, and the author of four books, "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference", "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" and "Outliers: The Story of Success." My latest book, "What the Dog Saw" is a compilation of stories published in The New Yorker. I was born in England, and raised in southwestern Ontario in Canada. Now I live in New York City.

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