Malcolm Gladwell
by Kris Krüg

Charlie Rose conversation with Malcolm Gladwell - Thoroughly enjoyed this Charlie Rose interview with Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell was relaxed, passionate, involved, articulate--and Rose didn't interrupt too much, letting Gladwell play jazz with his words and ideas.

At one point Rose asked Gladwell about his explanation for why people from Asian cultures are better at math than people from European, American, and other non-Asian cultures. Odd, seemingly racist topic, but apparently the research is clear--Asian cultures do better in math than most non-Asian cultures. Gladwell has an interesting theory as to why...

Malcom Gladwell believes that the reason why Asian cultures are better at math than most other cultures is because people from Asian cultures have a long history of working harder. They work harder because for the last 15,000 years their culture has been based on the farming of rice, and farming rice is a very labor intensive crop. Where wheat and corn farmers rest and get drunk in the winter, rice farmers work year-round and for long hours, every day--their rice crop demands it. And it is the demands of the rice crop that grew a culture of people that work hard at other things, including math. Controversial on all counts.

But the interview was richly spiced with useful insights. According to Gladwell, IQs don't matter when it comes to success, achievement or mastery. Hard work and "deliberate practice" matter most. This leads Gladwell to conclude that the formula for success and mastery is simple -- deliberate practice for 10,000 hours. Do that work--which translates into about 10 years of effort--and you will very likely master whatever it is you put your mind to, regardless of IQ, upbringing, or talent (whatever that is).

Gladwell's father is a Mathematician and his mother a Therapist (and writer). Gladwell believes these polar opposites influenced him to find bridges between the two extremes.

Gladwell learned to write at the Washington Post newsroom, a noisy, chaotic place. When he moved to the New Yorker (?), he had an office with a door, and the silence practically drove him crazy. So now, to recreate the chaos of the Post newsroom. he "works" in busy cafés.

Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell

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