Malcolm Gladwell at the Collingwood Conference


#malcgladwell, the famous author of What the Dog Saw & Other Adventures, Blink, The Tipping Point and numerous but still excellent New York Times and New Yorker articles descended upon the #cc2010 Collingwood Conference to energize the Liberals.

Malcolm Gladwell Predictably, Gladwell talked about two themes that shine through most of his work:

1. excellence in education (hockey trials)

In the article linked below, Gladwell suggests that teacher certification and raising the bar for the profession are misguided measures. He goes as far as saying that cutting class size in half is too expensive considering the only 5% improvement in outcomes, slightly embarrassing Dalton McGuinty, his host, who had promised to do just that. Teaching is so complex and difficult that we ought to let anyone “with a BA and a pulse” give it a try, (such as himself, who comes from a family of teachers), then measure their achievement after a year based on how far he took the pupils. Those who take their pupils far enough should be paid a lot, while those who don’t should take a hike.

2. today’s surplus of information vs yesterday’s scarcity of information

The other common thread to most of his articles is that we are coping with the surplus of information inadequately. Today’s problems require far more advanced skills as well as work in interdisciplinary teams. As with everything else, the examples he gives are far more edifying than the ideas, which are not terribly new anyways. To solve these problems, we need an “activist government”, a government willing to take risks and to experiment, a government of intelligent and most importantly, creative individuals.

What’s his work? Who’s Gladwell? In short:

I purposely left out Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking , despite its success, as I did not think it was as enlightening as the others. Here’s his keynote address:

Keynote Address Part 2 - Malcolm Gladwell 5/14/10 from Collingwood Conference.

Find more of his speeches in the list below, or buy Gladwell's books at Amazon.

Sources / More info: Gladwell, New Yorker, breitbart-outliers, yt-gladwell

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