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This story is small beer. As one critic noted (in another context), Gladwell's real offense is building castles of pseudo-science in the quicksand of anecdote.

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i wish you were a little more loyal to your blog. you rarely write on your blog anymore. i do not mean to suggest that you are not important and do not have anything more important to do but keep my lack of gladwell things to read in mind.

Robin M

Has Jack Shafer written the article yet where he acknowledges that HIS article was a joke? If not, it truly is baffling that anyone would be upset by a tale that (i) takes OBVIOUS liberties with the truth and (ii) was told in a context in which the storyteller is EXPECTED to take liberties with the truth.

The fact that a handful of people don't get a joke doesn't mean it wasn't funny in the first place.


@ Robin M

The question is whether the liberties and context were in fact obvious. Your simply stating that they were is not helpful except perhaps as a data point for an empirical study measuring public opinion.

Finally, the humor of the piece was not in question, only its veracity. Shafer was calling Gladwell out for being untruthful not unfunny.


This sounds really unusual. Where is that place in New York?


thanks malcolm this is very interesting


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Der lang anhaltende Machtkampf um das Gebiet Tibet, wobei es meiner Ansicht nach um die einseitige Macht Chinas geht und auf der anderen Seite ein repressionsfreies und anerkanntes Nebenherleben (lt. dem Dalai Lama), spitzt sich angesichts der bevorstehenden Olympischen Spiele weiter zu.

Mary Schaefer

Malcolm Gladwell, I'm so glad you are back.

Christian Bross


Ken McArthur


I've loved story telling since I heard a wonderful professional tell a great ghost story and then was able to repeat the entire thing almost word for word the next evening to my daughters.

Talk about making ideas sticky!

I've did a fair amount of thinking about what makes ideas travel as I wrote my own book on creating impact this year.

Now I'm experimenting with Zingwhacker ideas and "whisper" campaigns, where the key element is the listener's ability to create their own story and spread it.

Only about 4 people even know what Zingwhacker ideas are and as of two weeks ago a Google search turned up zero results, but now people are creating their own definitions of what Zingwhacker ideas could possibly be.

The more people add their own ideas to the mix and ask the question, "what are they anyway?" the more they spread.

So go ahead!

Tell your tall tales, ghost stories, rumors, lies and fabrications.

Personally, I think it is a Zingwhacker of an idea.


That is an interesting one!




This is my blog


I know this is going to seem really pithy, but This American Life is produced by Public Radio International, not NPR.

Many people don't even realize there's a difference, but it's quite a big one, actually.

Apramey Dube



Great Articles...


King James' Bible in acrostic form. A little literary joke.


Hey, I'm not really here to discuss this topic, I was just wondering if you could lend me a view on your career. I have a career fair at my high school. My asperation is to be a phycologist/writer. If you could Email me, and lend me any input at all on the subject, I would greatly appreciate it. I have read some excerpts from your books, and really enjoy what you have to say. Thanks again, in adavance.


As a soon-to-be journalism undergraduate, I desperately wanted the bit about the Post's lax hiring practices to be true...

Velvety Scarlet

Places like the Moth seems to be very interesting: they should be a great source of inspiration for a writer. Maybe, even here in Italy there are site like this, but I don't know it.


more content please, Mr Gladwell.

Love your writings (NY archive and blog and books)... just want more!


I have noticed you have not written much for the New Yorker recently.



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