« Race and IQ | Main | Race and IQ, con't. »


Katharine Nicholson

Help, Michael. Please fix dangling modifier on page http://www.gladwell.com/blink/index.html "And one day, while walking along 14th Street in downtown Manhattan, a police van pulled up on the sidewalk, and three officers jumped out."

Katharine Nicholson

Malcolm, please forgive me for calling you Michael. kdn

medical videos research news

thanks to all

charles matthews m.d.

Dear Malcolm,

I'm a clinical neurologist and I've admired your works and areas of interest.

I have an intriguing idea for aa Web-based collaborative tool. I've contacted Marvin Minsky about this, and I would like to have you do this with us.

I'm a little reticent about appending this information here; is there some address at which I can send you more information? Or, call me on my cell at 919 649 6806 after 4pm or office at 919 781 7423.

Charles Matthews M.D.
Raleigh, N.C.


Hi Malcolm,

I'm posting under "correction", but this is actually about a necessary correction in your book Tipping Point, which I am enjoying very much.
It concerns the brain teaser you present on page 159: the four cards labeled 'A', 'D', '3', and '6' respectively, and the four persons at a bar(one a beer-drinker, one a sixteen-year-old, one a coke-drinker, and one a twenty-five-year-old). There are flaws in both puzzles as presented, and so the parallel between the two is weak, if it holds at all.
First, in the card puzzle, it is actually three cards that need to be turned over to determine whether the rule holds: the A card (to see whether there is an even number on the other side), the 3 card (to ensure that there is not a vowel on the other side), AND, the D card (to ensure that there is not a vowel on the other side).

Also, the situation at the bar is more complicated than presented.
First, if we are to assume that each of the persons listed is distinct from the others (ie., for example, the beer-drinker is not the 16-year-old), then only one person may need to be carded, and that is the beer-drinker, in case that he looks potentially under-age. The sixteen-year-old will not need to be carded, because it will be evident from what he is drinking whether or not he is following the law. In other words, the answer to this problem is that either one person will need to be carded (the beer-drinker), or none (if we know that the beer-drinker is over-age, or it is evident), in order to determine whether the law is being observed.

However, if all we know is the information presented, and the descriptions are NOT meant to describe the four individuals RESPECTIVELY, (ie. the beer-drinker could be the sixteen-year-old), then the problem analyses more complicatedly; especially since we don't know how many of the four people may be under-age (could be 1-3), or how many are drinking liquor (could be 1-3), it will be necessary to card between 0-3 people: 0 if those who are clearly underage are drinking non-alcoholic beverages, 1 if there's one case of possible doubt, 2 if there are two cases of possible doubt, and 3 if there are 3 cases of possible doubt. The only exempt person in any case is the coke-drinker

It is still a different problem if we assume that there is exactly one under-age person, and that is the sixteen-year-old (which it seemed might have been what the problem meant to imply.)
In this case, the number of persons that you may need to card is still 0-3:
a) 0: if you are able to identify the 16-year-old by sight, there is no need to card anyone, for everyone is legal except him, and you will see whether he is being lawful or not from what he is drinking, not from his card.
b) if you are not able to distinguish the 16-year-old by sight, you will need to card him just in case the he is drinking liquor. So if the beer-drinker looks like he is well over 21, and the border-liners are not drinking liquor, you answer is 0.
If the beer-drinker might be 16 or might be over 21, you will need to card him; the answer is 1 if he turns out to be the 16-year-old, and also if he doesn't but nobody else is drinking liquor.
And so the problem continues for 2 and 3, but it will never be more than 3, because once you've carded three people, you know whether or not the fourth is the sixteen-year-old.

It seems like both problems would require a lot of further specification in order to allow a parallel to be drawn between them.

Of course now I'm curious into what kind of personality-type I fall in, to write you such a lengthy response to the little mathematical problem taking up a half a percent of your book. Is there a category for people who tend not to fall in categories? ;)

Thanks for a great read, am thoroughly enjoying it.

Best regards,


Steve Sailor

Steve Sailor you are a loser at life. Get a life and get from behind a computer. You spend your entire life on your knees trying to prove your worth with attempted high-brow rhetoric, to cover for your compensating that you are losers at life. Leave Gladwell alone.

-Random Person reading posts.

A. Cannara

Saw you on the Daily show or Colbert the other night (they all run together). You made a statement about Bill Gates being one of your "outliers", partly because he had a "computer terminal" when no other kids had them in 1969.

Well, research often helps writing and interviewing -- Google IMSSS at Stanford and perhaps you'll discover that our NSF & DOE-funded institute provided computer terminals and daily lessons to kids from Puerto Rico, to New Mexico, to Hawaii and back to Menlo Park Calif., even before '69. In fact, about 3000 student lessons in math & reading were delivered every school day.

And, Gates' terminal didn't have computer-controlled audio either!

If you know modern computer history, you know that Gates never wrote any substantial code himself and the only product Microsoft actually wrote from scratch was the Basic interpreter his staff did while they were in their desert commune phase.

Actually, the Gates family candidate for outlier would rightly be his dad. Without his dad's legal expertise, Bill would never have gotten his first, unearned push -- buying DOS from Seattle Computer for $50k and NO royalty.

That got them in with IBM and the rest is history -- a rather mediocre history, when you examine the quality of Microsoft products in relation to their degree of market control. But, the outlier who did that was Steve Balmer.

Enough for now!


I saw Gladwell last night in his NYC Barnes$N event

I have to say, this guy hides the fact of his origins so much, I had to leave, he has Jamaican in him but hides it...it is just sad


I am concerned that Gladwell hide so much his Jamaican roots!

Craig Schwab

I just finished reading your latest book Outliers. As always I find your work thought provoking and illuminating.
In your first two books your studies provided interesting analysis of the human condition. In Outliers, I cannot get past the old grade school introduction to scientific studies for proving an hypothesis: Theory: It is Raining.
Study: Proof of Weather Condition.
Practice: Stick Hand Out Window.
Conclusion: It is raining.
Throughout your new book, which again I enjoyed reading - I could not get past the examples given missing one key ingredient: Luck.
Yes, we can say how children exposed to hockey in Canada, born in a certain month are blessed (for lack of a better word), with nurtured skills that allow them to mature faster and therefore give them a better opportunity to display talent. However, there are variables when discussing sports talent that cannot be placed in an equation warranting guaranteed success. The variable inevitably will come around to the element of time + place + conditions = success. In each variable, age may or may not cause the result the book appears to offer as a reason for success. Again, when discussing Bill Joy or Bill Gates with regard to time and place and situations warranting their success, we must discuss the inevitable degree of their having been born at the right time and being in the right place for success to become a merited reward to the success they achieved. The Beatles, as one might imagine also fit into a category of having what we can agree were limited talents with their instruments when they started, but after years of practicing reaching a certain level of sophisticated success. However, here to talent is not rewarded but merely the act of their being promoted and marketed in such a way as to be labeled a phenomenon of the 1960s music making scene.
Success in my experience has more to do with who you meet along the journey in life. People, who without question play a role in the ability of any one person to advance in a chosen field or endeavor without interruptions. The natural flow of any individual can be fulfilled if they are given the dedication of time and patience to evolve into what they wish to be. In our modern society, it must be realized that time and patience is not as easily provided in any industry for a person to become the very best at what he or she was meant to be. If we use music as an example, we can easily follow how a group or singer if they do not sell the expected number of records is abandoned by thier label. Meanwhile, the growth of this individuals actual or natural talents are never nurtured, therefore creating a situation whereby their possible success is never realized. Case In Point is the success of performance artist Laurie Anderson. She self released her first record New Science. She pressed 1000 copies and sold the album out of her apartment. A deejay in Europe started playing one of the tracks O Superman on the radio. It picked up air play when used in dance clubs. Overnight she received a call for 40,000 copies. As luck would have it she knew someone who worked at a major record label who could make this happen in a short amount of time. The rest as the saying goes is history. She is now considered one of the voices of modern techno music and socially concience music. The same can be said in sports or business where proven results out of the box allows for the tolerance of indulgences natural to the creative mind. Yes, the statistics given in your book all stand up for the hypothesis you set out to prove. However, luck has more to do with how well a person succeeds than any other variable or possible situation.
I look forward to reading your books and wish for you continued success and satisfaction.
Craig Schwab

A.D. Powell

I wish Gladwell would turn his talents and influence toward mixed-race identities and the fact that what we call "race" is a continuum with no clear borders between "races." "White" and "mixed race" fade into each other. Of course, given the fact that Gladwell works for the magazine that proclaimed the late Anatole Broyard to be a mere "passer" who was too inferior to claim his European ancestry and white identity, that is too much to hope for.


On page 139 of OUTLIERS, there is a factual error. The book says,"Louis was from Galacia, IN WHAT WAS THEN POLAND." In 1889, there WAS NO POLAND! Poland had totally disappeared from the map when it was divided between Prussia, Russia, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Galacia was in the part of the old Poland that was taken by Austria. It's an amazingly interesting book. I just want it to be as free from error as possible. MICHAEL WELCH

Joe Gallian


Last month a study was published in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society that corroborates your observations in Outliers about culture being largely the reason for Asian success in mathematics. Here is a link.



This site is fantastic. It`s professional and to the point. I like it a lot.
I am from Iran and now teach English, give true I wrote the following sentence: "An course is to form a subculture around of a team."

Thanks :o. Templeton.

Dissertation Introduction

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

acne treatment

"Whenever I look at a politicized debate, I try to measure the credibility of both sides"

Agreed. Thats why I distrust the Global Warming crowd:

1) Hyperbole and exageration.

2) Omitting key data [little Ice Age] and using disparate data sets [as in the hockey stick]

3) Argument by assertion [ie "the debate is closed"]

4) Appeals to Conformity ["all SMART people believe x"].

Seriously, if their cause is just, then why must they deceive?

pest control saint george

You know I love the bronze look of Jada Pickett and the natural look on Hallie Berry. I’m one of those that don’t wear much make up, only because I don’t know how to do my make up. I need a lesson on how to look natural and flawless.

CPR First Aid Kits

As we grow older our ability to snap back from traumas declines. I would expect restoration of brain volume to happen more slowly and less completely with higher age.



good to now



 バーバリー アウトレット償還期間を巡っては、民主党が政府案の10年を15年に延ばす方針を提示したが、公明党が15~20年を主張したのに対し、自民党が一層の延長を求めていた。しかし、谷垣氏は5日に償還期間30年程度を検討する意向を表明。

バーバリー アウトレットまた、民主党幹部は「25年ぐらいまでは現役世代での負担と言えるし、単年度の負担も野党の主張通りに薄くできる」と説明した



 バーバリー アウトレット償還期間を巡っては、民主党が政府案の10年を15年に延ばす方針を提示したが、公明党が15~20年を主張したのに対し、自民党が一層の延長を求めていた。しかし、谷垣氏は5日に償還期間30年程度を検討する意向を表明。

バーバリー アウトレットまた、民主党幹部は「25年ぐらいまでは現役世代での負担と言えるし、単年度の負担も野党の主張通りに薄くできる」と説明した









Joe Montana Jersey

very much

49ers Red Jersey

Good Suggestion,With the help of tis article i have learned many fact of improving sales.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo


  • 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.

    My great claim to fame is that I'm from the town where they invented the BlackBerry. My family also believes (with some justification) that we are distantly related to Colin Powell. I invite you to look closely at the photograph above and draw your own conclusions.

My Website


  • What the Dog Saw

    buy from amazon


    buy from amazon

    buy from amazon UK


    buy from amazon

    buy from amazon UK

    Tipping Point

    buy from amazon

Recent Articles

Blog powered by Typepad