Talk:Malcolm Gladwell

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Black British?[edit]

Isn't it a bit of a stretch to classify him as a Black British writer, when he's a Canadian living in the US with one Jamaican and one British parent? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:21, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

July 2006[edit]

Why link in the article-section to two articles only? Either link to all his articles or to none, but to link to only two seems a bit arbitrary. -Peak Freak 20:34, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Um, I just read Outliers, and that brief description of what the book is about is a little misleading. While Gladwell does talk about the importance of both effort and meaningful work as opposed to reliance on innate talent, much of the book, maybe half, is devoted to the role of happy accidents and luck, being born at the right time to the right kind of parents in the right community, in determining success. ~~ Mimi —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

I have to agree with Mimi, I think the description of Outliers on the page is pretty much the opposite of the point Gladwell makes in the book. -- Luke —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I also agree with Mimi and the above poster, and what's more, Outliers is itself is not so much a how-to book. For instance, it describes Korean Air and their improvement of pilot and co-pilot responses to emergencies-- that's pretty far cry from a typical "self-help" book, and "success" there is defined quite differently than personal aggrandizement. I'm deleting the sentence. Cuvtixo (talk)

Why no criticism section?[edit]

Shouldn't there be some? A little bit at least. --IdLoveOne (talk) 02:54, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

WP:CRITICISM Gary King (talk) 03:06, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
That doesn't answer my question. --IdLoveOne (talk) 22:49, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
You can add information from reliable sources that criticize Gladwell, but not in a section specifically called "Criticism". Gary King (talk) 00:16, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Well it says that sections titled "Criticism" are discouraged, not forbidden, but I get what you mean. It also says that criticism should be positive and negative. The reason I asked in the first place is because the entire article seems to be in favor of his texts. Not only is this not NPOV and not only does it seem common that many authors and their works do get negative criticism sections (probably because of an unconscious habit by editors to sprinkle only positive reception in the article and save the negative for one area), but frankly I find it hard to believe that NO ONE think of his books as far-fetched. --IdLoveOne (talk) 02:17, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Feel free to work criticism into the article. Gary King (talk) 02:18, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

It would be politically incorrect in our current contemporary environment to criticize this author. "Mum"'s the word. (talk) 11:44, 13 June 2009 (UTC)Lestrade

Just to add my $0.02 here: it seems his individual books (which have their own wikipedia pages) have their own significant Criticism/Reception sections. Personally I think the sentence added in August is sufficient in this article. Prothonotar (talk) 06:14, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Two sentences? Gladwell is a science writer who is spreading half-truths for which a scientific consensus has been established for decades. Wikipedia should reflect the fact that experts condemn his work.

--Indolering (talk) 08:37, 11 December 2011 (UTC)


Both Steven Pinker and Stephen Hsu killed his rep for good regarding science writing. How many decades will it take to include this?

Pinker in the New York Times Book Review:

An eclectic essayist is necessarily a dilettante, which is not in itself a bad thing. But Gladwell frequently holds forth about statistics and psychology, and his lack of technical grounding in these subjects can be jarring. He provides misleading definitions of “homology,” “saggital plane” and “power law” and quotes an expert speaking about an “igon value” (that’s eigenvalue, a basic concept in linear algebra). In the spirit of Gladwell, who likes to give portentous names to his aperçus, I will call this the Igon Value Problem: when a writer’s education on a topic consists in interviewing an expert, he is apt to offer generalizations that are banal, obtuse or flat wrong.
The common thread in Gladwell’s writing is a kind of populism, which seeks to undermine the ideals of talent, intelligence and analytical prowess in favor of luck, opportunity, experience and intuition. For an apolitical writer like Gladwell, this has the advantage of appealing both to the Horatio Alger right and to the egalitarian left. Unfortunately he wildly overstates his empirical case. It is simply not true that a quarter­back’s rank in the draft is uncorrelated with his success in the pros, that cognitive skills don’t predict a teacher’s effectiveness, that intelligence scores are poorly related to job performance or (the major claim in “Outliers”) that above a minimum I.Q. of 120, higher intelligence does not bring greater intellectual achievements.
The reasoning in “Outliers,” which consists of cherry-picked anecdotes, post-hoc sophistry and false dichotomies, had me gnawing on my Kindle. Fortunately for “What the Dog Saw,” the essay format is a better showcase for Gladwell’s talents, because the constraints of length and editors yield a higher ratio of fact to fancy. Readers have much to learn from Gladwell the journalist and essayist. But when it comes to Gladwell the social scientist, they should watch out for those igon values.

Hsu - here in Technology Review:

Malcolm Gladwell shows exquisite taste in the subjects he writes and talks about -- he has a nose for great topics. I just wish his logical and analytical capabilities were better (see also here). This talk at the New Yorker's recent Genius 2012 conference is entertaining, but I disagree completely with his conclusion. Ribet, Wiles, Taniyama and Shimura are probably the real geniuses, not Michael Ventris, the guy who decoded Linear B. (Gladwell also can't seem to remember that it's the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture, not Tanimara. He says it incorrectly about 10 times.) My feeling is that Gladwell's work appeals most to people who can't quite understand what he is talking about.

and there--he refers to this blogspot entry in the TR article linked above ("My opinion of Malcolm Gladwell was expressed here"), so it's authoritative even when it's on a blog:

Gladwell is confused about the exact topic discussed in James Gleick's book Genius. In a field where sampling of talents is sparse (e.g., decoding ancient codexes) you might find one giant (even an amateur like Michael Ventris) towering above the others, able to do things others cannot. In a well-developed, highly competitive field like modern mathematics, all the top players are "geniuses" in some sense (rare talents, one in a million), even though they don't stand out very much from each other. In Gleick's book, Feynman, discussing how long it might have taken to develop general relativity had Einstein not done it, says "We are not that much smarter than each other"!
To put it simply, if I sample sparsely from a Gaussian distribution, I might find a super-outlier in the resulting set. If I sample densely and have a high minimum cutoff for acceptable points, I will end up with a set entirely composed of outliers, but who do not stand out much from each other. Every guard in the NBA is an athletic freak of nature, even though they are evenly matched when playing against each other.
To counteract the intelligence-damping effect of Gladwell's talk, I suggest this podcast interview with Nassim Taleb, about his new book The Black Swan. Warning: may be psychologically damaging to people who fool themselves and others about their ability to predict the behavior of nonlinear systems.

--tickle me 16:01, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Re: Gary King's Suggestion of Working Criticism Into Article[edit]

I have added a brief sentence regarding criticism of Gladwell's sampling and deductive methods by the academic community. Please leave this as is. 11:19, 5 August 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Okay it looks better, thanks for understanding. Gary King (talk) 18:27, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Proposed Link(s)[edit]

  • Wow, I see a rather stern warning about adding new links. I recently watched an hour long interview with Gladwell on Q&A (C-Span) and wanted to add the link to the show (transcript and video available). After that warning on the article page I will just post it here:
  • Gladwell intervew -(1 hr) Q&A interview program on C-SPAN, December 6, 2009, transcript and video available on line.

--Mdukas (talk) 17:07, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Place of Birth[edit]

He was not born in Kent! (no ref there anyway). He was born in Gosport, Hampshire, according to official records on I did put that in once, but somebody removed it.Ravenscroft32 (talk) 11:00, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Finland and Norway[edit]

Did Gladwell ever correct his error about Linus Torvald's nationality? And was this error highlighted as a way of attacking the author, or what? Maybe it's about as significant as mixing up Alabama and Mississippi, two US states with similar climate, culture and geographical location. --Uncle Ed (talk) 18:47, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

I think the critics were just saying that Gladwell sometimes gets sloppy and hasty in his research. Torvald was just one easy example. The article needs to be balanced citing criticism as well as praise. Sure, the article needs work and could include a more in depth exploration of the accusations he faces. But I'd say develop it rather than cut it. Spangle (talk) 21:39, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

I guess you mean "Torvalds" ... even when correcting an error we can make the same kind of error, eh? --Uncle Ed (talk) 21:25, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Criticism is harsh and vague[edit]

I deleted the long list of criticisms, since all but one were vague, and the only specific one was trivial. His critics accuse him of severals types of intellectual faults, but our article gives no examples of these.

It's a bit too much to expect our readers to hunt through the cited references to find these examples. Please provide the examples, and then restore the section. --Uncle Ed (talk) 21:43, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Early Life[edit]

I'm writing to talk about the inclusion of ancestry in the second paragraph of "early life". Basically, I'm arguing for a change to the second paragraph to substantially remove what I see as non-pertinent data:

Gladwell has said that his mother, who published a book titled Brown Face, Big Master in 1969, is his role model as a writer.[1]Gladwell's family tree includes ancestors of West Indian, Igbo, Irish, English and Scottish heritage.[2] His distant cousin is the Jamaican-American statesman Colin Powell[3]

And then I'd combine it with the previous paragraph. I think it's not super pertinent to list someone's ethnic background, as in the case of GW Bush, though a case could be made for it, based on the fact that their ethnic background is part of the beginning of their life. So I'd leave that, but as to the specific text about Gladwell's distant ancestors: None of them were notable in their own right, and looking again at the Bush article or the first 5 featured biographies of modern figures (1 2 3 4 5), none of them go beyond a mention of ethnic background and a listing of grandparents, let alone talking about ancestors from over 200 years ago. While considering this subject, I did think of Al Sharpton's article talking about his relation to Strom Thurmond through a distant, non-notable person, but this seems different because Al Sharpton's notability is based around his activism surrounding race relations, so a mention of research into his ancestry seems pertinent. But with Gladwell, his distant relation to a slaveowner or British gold prospectors doesn't seem to have anything to do with either his life or his work. My first reaction coming to the article was that it includes information that distracts from an actual biography and strays into a kind of racist fascination with the exotic. (looking now at Obama, you do get a bit of this, but again, does it really matter that his great-great-great-grandfather was from County Offaly, even if there's a reliable source that says so?]] Iowawindow (talk) 03:11, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Discussion of ancestry is quite standard - see Alexander Pushkin, Anna Akhmatova, Abraham Lincoln, Jorge Luis Borges, Siegfried Sassoon or Alexandre Dumas. Exploring family and influence is fine whether they are notable or not. 200 or 300 years ago, it all goes to expositional detail. Span (talk) 15:33, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Okay. Call me convinced. Iowawindow (talk) 02:45, 10 February 2011 (UTC)


So, there are a couple of people who say they are him on twitter. I've seen none so far that have been verified. His profile on the site of The New Yorker[4] does not link to any account as well.--IIVeaa (talk) 00:01, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Is there a question here? Span (talk) 00:18, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Reference #31[edit]

June 7, 2011 In regards to reference #31 (the review citing "racist pseudoscience" in the criticism section), I believe this should be removed. The website where the review was published does not even recognize the author as valid. (unsigned)

Are we talking about reference 31 or 32? The sentence about racist pseudoscience cites 32, which is a review by an author on an online jewish magazine from san fran. Explain "does not even recognize the author as valid"? (talk) 03:13, 28 July 2011 (UTC)


  1. ^ "A conversation with Malcolm Gladwell". Charlie Rose. 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  2. ^ Gates, Henry (2010). Faces of America: How 12 Extraordinary People Discovered Their Pasts. NYU Press. p. 178. ISBN 08-147-3264-X. 
  3. ^ Video interview with Gladwell 18:30.
  4. ^ Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker profile


I'll be going through and cleaning-up this article in the next couple days. It has a bunch of problems, namely that the Early life and Reception sections are way too long, and the Works and Career sections are too short.Svernon19 (talk) 22:17, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Not at all. Nothing wrong with the early life and reception sections. Please add more ref's works and career detail if you care to. Articles develop and evolve over time. There is no deadline.

'Blatant corruption'[edit]

WP:BLP is very clear:

"We must get the article right. Be very firm about the use of high quality sources. All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be explicitly attributed to a reliable, published source, which is usually done with an inline citation. Contentious material about living persons (or recently deceased) that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion."

Likewise at the top of this page:

"Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libellous."

Accusing someone of blatant corruption and taking industry kickbacks is libellous. The source given is a webpage recently set up, this is their first 'expose'. It is a site of personal opinion, out to attack Gladwell. See the guideline on 'questionable sources'. WP:RS says 'Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy.' That is not this source. Please respect Wikipedia's legal position regarding litigious material. Thank you. Span (talk) 12:51, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

This is not just some random trolling site, this is researched and published by The Exile, an online news source which has been around for quite a while and has been working on this project for months. The page in question does provide its sources and while it is probably correct to keep the 'contentious' info off this page until the source has been properly looked at, this should by no means be considered a "case closed." While the removal of the info may have been correct by Wikipedia editing protocol, I'd expect the burden to be on you, Spangle, to prove the unreliability of the source if you intend to keep it off the page. I'm not even sure how thoroughly you read the page based on the response you gave. Can you further explain and justify your assessment of the source's veracity? (talk) 07:36, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
A PhD student may have been verifiably working on a project for years; this doesn't make their work authoritative in WP's eyes. ¶ If this work by "The Exile" is persuasive, then it will persuade periodicals and websites of note (and I don't mean mere blogs and so forth). When these write similar things (whether or not they credit "The Exile" or "SHAME"), then they'll certainly merit consideration for this article. ¶ No, neither Spangle nor anybody else needs prove the unreliability of a putative source; instead, it's the task of the would-be citer of a source to demonstrate its reliability -- and "reliability" in the (perhaps odd) sense understood by WP, and perhaps not that understood by you (or indeed me). - Hoary (talk) 09:48, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Okay, now the Malcolm Gladwell piece has been republished in authoritative media: Naked Capitalism which Time magazine ranked one of the 25 best financial blogs, and Alternet. This should settle the matter.

I think we need to start simply with the underlying evidence and source documents presented by SHAME and can move on from there. For starters:

1) An internal Philip Morris document listed Malcolm Gladwell on a list of "third party" advocates.

From the very credible tobacco files database:;jsessionid=A7BC352464FBEDF72BEA5142A108471B.tobacco03?tid=utg11b00&page=5

2) Malcolm Gladwell admitted to taking money from pharmaceutical companies he wrote about in a New Yorker article that deflected criticism from the pharmaceutical industry. He only disclosed this financial relationship AFTER the article came out and was, among other things, criticized for absolving pharmaceutical industry of its complicity in the high cost of scrip meds. Note: he did not specify how much he was paid by these companies.

The article in question:
The criticism:,
The half-disclosure: (talk) 20:38, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

An internal Philip Morris document listed Malcolm Gladwell on a list of "third party" advocates.
The source provided for this assertion is titled:
It doesn't call Gladwell an advocate. True, the long list does conspicuously contain a number of right-wing/corporate advocacy groups. It also contains such names as Penn Gillette and Dave Barry. Conceivably they all worked as shills for the coffin-nail industry. However, Wikipedia is not going to connect the dots here. IFF the dots are connected in an article in some periodical of note, I'll be interested. -- Hoary (talk) 13:20, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
But can we at least agree that the information is relevant and interesting, and a sentence along the lines of "Malcolm Gladwell's name appeared on an internal Philip Morris document titled 'THIRD PARTY MESSAGE DEVELOPMENT CONTACT LIST'" is relevant information that belongs on this page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by GuyBallardMightyIAM (talkcontribs) 13:08, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree that it is relevant to Gladwell, just as thousands of other things are relevant to Gladwell, and even that it is mildly interesting. No it does not belong on this page, despite the indignation expressed both above and on this IP's talk page. Enough said. -- Hoary (talk) 01:00, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
No, Hoary, there has not been enough said. This bio is distinctly biased in Gladwell's favor. This goes beyond "mildly interesting" to be a fact that many readers would find significant, especially in conjunction with Gladwell's work that fits the tobacco industry agenda. JamesMLane t c 08:51, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
I had the impression that the article had Pinker and others put Gladwell in his place. (True, there doesn't seem to be any mention of my own criticism of The Tipping Point: that it's so mind-numbingly repetitive that I think of it as The Tipping Point for Dummies. But I digress.)
Well, let's take a look at the latest version of the paragraph that's being argued over:
Another source of criticism towards Gladwell is his link to industries he wrote about, such as the tobacco industry, Big Pharma and the financial industry. [Citing Levine, Yasha (June 06, 2012). "Malcolm Gladwell Unmasked: A Look Into the Life & Work of America’s Most Successful Propagandist". The Exiled.] An internal Philip Morris document from the 1990s lists Gladwell, then at the Washington Post, as part of a "third party message development list", and during that period he published an article named "Not Smoking Could Be Hazardous to the Pension System". [Citing a PDF at] In 1999, while the media was on an ongoing debate on overmedication of children, he wrote an article on the New Yorker defending the use of Ritalin, [Citing piece by Gladwell about Ritalin] and in 2004, another article shifted the blame for rising drug expenditures away from the pharmaceutical industry. [Citing piece by Gladwell titled "High Prices"] The latter article, in particular, raised questions about conflicts of interest, as Gladwell has been paid by pharmaceutical companies on numerous occasions to give speeches, [citing piece at] leading Gladwell to write a lengthy disclosure statement on his website. [citing "Disclosure Statement" by Gladwell] Columbia Journalism Review also mentioned Gladwell's conflict of interests covering Wall Street topics (including a controversial article which Gladwell himself stated as a "semi-defense of Enron" [citing piece by Gladwell about Enron] ) while being sponsored by Bank of America as a speaker [citing Starobin, Paul. "Money Talks". Columbia Journalism Review.]
What sources do we have here? (i) The Exiled (aka The eXiled); (ii); (iii); (iv) Malcolm Gladwell; (v) Columbia Journalism Review. How many of these are reliable? Gladwell, certainly, as a source for what Gladwell says. CJR, certainly. And the others? NB they're not used for such trivia as his liking of this or that TV program; they're instead used for assertions such as that Another source of criticism towards Gladwell is his link to industries he wrote about, such as the tobacco industry, Big Pharma and the financial industry. This (i) implies that he has a link to these three and other industries, and (ii) asserts that this link (or these links) are a source of criticism. If these other sources are authoritative, let's see the reasoning for this.
Meanwhile, one of the crusading IPs informs my mediocre and lazy self that Gladwell's entry will be re-visited because The eXiled runs about 6-12 months ahead of the majors. Splendid. Let's revisit it then. -- Hoary (talk) 09:42, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Hey Hoary, what's up with the virtual aggression? The ladies down at the neighborhood bar not impressed by your tales of valiant Wikipedia warfare on behalf of corporate blandness? Hey, you're among friends. No need to take it out on us mere "IPs"!
Here's a question: why don't you work to improve the additions and help bring them up to wikipedia standards instead of shutting people down?
And you have not addressed the following critique brought up above: the investigation was re-published by the very credible outlets, Alternet and Naked Capitalism. (Oh and by the way, The eXiled's wikipedia page is located at The no more red links for you buddy!)
So how's about it champ, will you work with your buddies? Or are you gonna make this hard on everyone?
Peace & Fucking. Believe,
Dontletthemwin (talk) 10:08, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for your kind words, Dontletthemwin. (I too believe in peace and fucking.) I apologize to any IPs or ladies my rough language may have offended. Not that I notice any such language myself. Meanwhile, I have brought up the matter at WP:BLPN. -- Hoary (talk) 10:12, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Atta boy, Hoary. Still passive aggressive, but at least you're being civil. They don't teach manners on Wikipedia anymore?
But we do find it interesting that you can't answer the above users directly. Do you consider Naked Capitalism, Alternet and/or The eXile to be credible sources of information? A penny for your thoughts...
Peace & Fucking. Believe,
Dontletthemwin (talk) 10:25, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Ah, Dontletthemwin, you do know how to win friends and influence people: peace, fucking, and the (I'd thought unintended) hilarity prompted by amateur psychiatry ("passive aggressive"). ¶ What do I think of your sources? The eXile sounds entertaining (and any employer of Matt Taibbi must have something going for it). But reliable? I don't see any particular reason to think so. Am I missing something? Neither "Naked Capitalism" nor "AlterNet" is cited; the former appears to be a blog but the latter looks more interesting. ¶ And I have a question for you. When you write "But we do find it interesting that you can't answer the above users directly" above, why do you say "we"? -- Hoary (talk) 12:20, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Hoary, you're starting to reveal your biases here a little too clearly. First, you're pretending that you don't know what Naked Capitalism is, only to say it "appears to be a blog." That is opinion on your part, not fact. As an editor, it is your responsibility to take 2 seconds to click Naked Capitalism Here are the facts. Time magazine says Naked Capitalism is one of the 25 best financial blogs in the US. Naked Capitalism ran the same Gladwell story here. Either you are arguing that Time magazine and Naked Capitalism do not qualify as credible or authoritative, or you accept that they are, and since the article is good enough for the editor of Naked Capitalism, certainly it's good enough for Hoary, no? If not, you must give factual reasons why Naked Capitalism does not qualify as authoritative, and why their decision to reprint the article does not qualify as having been validated by one of Time magazine's top 25 financial blogs.

As for Alternet again you pretend to be an authoritative editor here with no agenda, yet you can only say "it looks more interesting." That is opinion, not fact. Here is the fact about Alternet: It is run by the former publisher of Mother Jones, it has won numerous awards including Webby and Utne Press awards and is widely regarded as a major progressive website. The editors there republished the Gladwell article. Are you arguing that Alternet is not credible enough to qualify? If the article makes it past Alternet's editorial team and Naked Capitalism's, surely it is good enough for Hoary? Unless Hoary has another agenda here. Let's put off Hoary's subjective non-factual decision to dismiss The eXile for another time so as not to be distracted. So Hoary, please explain why the article can be solid enough for Naked Capitalism and Alternet to publish the article in its entirety, and why being published in Naked Capitalism and Alternet do not qualify as credible according to Hoary's read. You must provide evidence or facts to maintain your credibility here, not merely your opinion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:07, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

I say that "Naked Capitalism" appears to be a blog. You,, say it's a blog. You cite Time saying it's a good blog. All in all, I infer that it's ... a blog. It seems to be self-published. What do you want to use Naked Capitalism for, and does this square with this? ¶ Googling shows me that Gladwell and AlterNet appear together here, where AlterNet republishes the story. Does any author at AlterNet write an additional piece? Or is all of this "Gladwell is a corporate shill" stuff based on a single story that is being republished here and there? -- Hoary (talk) 06:02, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

I'd just like to point out that Naked Capitalism is ranked 3rd in popularity among all business and economics sites on the web, so try to find some other excuse besides notability to keep this criticism out of the article. Planetjanet (talk) 23:04, 8 June 2012 (UTC)


Hoary, just for the record, can you give a simple yes or no answer as to whether or not Alternet counts as a credible media site by Wikipedia rules? Just a yes or no please. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:07, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Hey Hoary old boy, we're waiting for your answer if you think Alternet qualifies as a credible media source or not? Just a yes or no, as the fella said. Waiting, tap-tap-tap... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:24, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Well anonymous young whippersnapper(s), that depends on how it's used. See this little discussion. (Incidentally, I find the initial question there pretty funny, I suppose unintentionally.) -- Hoary (talk) 00:32, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Hoar, do you ever tell the truth? What you link to (this little discussion) is by no means definitive. In fact, it is downright factually wrong. A user says Alternet calls itself an "advocacy journal" and so is not reliable and links to its about page, but the page does not actually say that. AlterNet writes that it aims to "inspire advocacy." AlterNet has won numerous press awards. So to repeat: AlterNet is credible. Period. If you don't agree, go change its wiki page.
Isn't there a forum or some place you can go and be among your own people? You know, let loose? Actually... Well....we, your friends, already talked it over a bit and have come to the conclusion that you'll find friendship, acceptance and more happiness among the Freepers. No shame in that. Just think about it.
Peace & Fucking. Believe,
Dontletthemwin (talk) 06:42, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Hello again Dontletthemwin. I do appreciate you and your unspecified friends' concern for my happiness. I hadn't previously heard of "Freepers", but as I read about them I find, ah, certain differences between their political beliefs and my own, and as I look at photos of them I infer that I am not sufficiently fat to be a member. ¶ Let's see what transpires here. -- Hoary (talk) 12:17, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

My concern is that the sections on Gladwell's writing on the tobacco industry and the pharmaceutical industry are inappropriately subjective.----

Notability of[edit]

For example: . — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:56, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Tsk tsk, writes above: Let's put off Hoary's subjective non-factual decision to dismiss The eXile for another time so as not to be distracted. ¶ But OK, I'm willing to be a little distracted. The Vanity Fair article is about the defunct printed magazine, not its online successor; but of the former, it says: In its time The Exile was arguably the most abusive, defamatory, un-evenhanded, and crassest publication in Russia. No doubt it was notable (but I'd already guessed that when I read that it was co-run by the excellent Matt Taibbi). Should this description make its online successor seem more credible? -- Hoary (talk) 06:09, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Now we can assert something's fishy about denying the Gladwell criticism. Saying Matt Taibbi is acceptable, but ignoring the (minimum) several important Ames/Levine scoops and outlets, then splitting hairs over The eXile's going online -- after they were chased out of Russia by the Putin regime -- that sounds like something Malcolm Gladwell would do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:51, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Good sherlocking there,! I'm tempted to deny that I'm Gladwell, but Gladwell would deny that, wouldn't he? Well, if you have evidence that I'm in the pay of Gladwell, here's where you should bring it up. ¶ Now, is the Exiled claimed to be much the same as the Exile or isn't it? If it is, why should I ignore the description (to which I was kindly pointed) of the latter as arguably the most abusive, defamatory, un-evenhanded, and crassest publication in Russia? If it isn't, then do you have any disinterested descriptions of it? ¶ Again, why do you say "we" (in we can assert something's fishy) -- just who are these "we"? -- Hoary (talk) 07:17, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Hoary, you're clearly in the minority here. You cannot stand in the way of progress. "We" are the nightmares you have when you got to sleep at night, knowing that you're gonna die alone and unloved, having lived a life of corporate blandness and obstructionism. Exiled is notable. Not like this is gonna convince you any, because you are not arguing in good faith...but in the spirit of team work and collaboration, if you're genuinely interested in The eXile/d's notability, see here--which includes a video of MSNBC's (that's cable TV, if you didn't know) recognition of the publication's credibility live on the air!
Peace & Fucking. Believe,
Dontletthemwin (talk) 09:35, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes, I believe in peace and fucking! (And now can you please take that as read?) ¶ So, I watched the video. Both interviewees are commendably patient (indeed lucid) while being shouted at by this Ratigan person. (Do all US op-ed anchors shout these days?) Can it be just three years since the US public needed to be told who the Koch brothers were? (But even if told, no probs for the Kochs: amnesia conquers all.) They produced a good-sounding story (I suppose one wonder is that Playboy ever published it in the first place). -- Hoary (talk) 10:45, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
See said you wouldn't be convinced, you bland poor soul you. It's pretty clear to all that obstructionism is your game, Hoar.
Peace & Fucking. Believe,
Dontletthemwin (talk) 04:59, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Poor Hoary, something obviously has personally upset you about The eXile/eXiled. Maybe we should leave poor Hoary alone and take the matter up with Hoary's superiors, since he clealry lacks the professionalism and objectivity needed to carry out his duties as Wiki editor? — Preceding unsigned comment added by GuyBallardMightyIAM (talkcontribs) 03:45, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, Mighty Guy, if this is indeed clear, you should certainly rush to bring the matter to the administrators of Wikipedia. Here is the precise place for doing so. Useful keywords for the purpose (beyond those you've already mentioned): "incompetence", "block", "topic ban". Good luck! -- Hoary (talk) 04:10, 11 June 2012 (UTC)


After writing a New Yorker piece that blamed skyrocketing prescription drug prices on users of prescription drugs, not on pharmaceutical companies, Gladwell publicly admitted that he had had indeed taken money from the pharmaceutical industry: “Have I given paid speeches to companies or industries mentioned or affected by that article? Yes I have.”

Full quote from his disclosure statement:

Have I given paid speeches to companies or industries mentioned or affected by that article? Yes I have. As I stated earlier, I have given my Tipping Point talk to groups of doctors, hospitals, insurers, as well as Pharmacy Benefit Managers and groups funded by the National Institutes of Health. More specifically, I have on several occasions over the past four years given paid speeches on the Tipping Point to pharmaceutical companies. So did that create a bias in favor of the pharmaceutical industry?"

Details on speaking fee income:

At the New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell developed another branch of his branded Malcolm Gladwell, Inc. business: as a highly-paid corporate speaker. Indeed, Gladwell is ranked as one of the highest-paid speakers in America today, commanding anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000 for a single talk to corporations and industry groups eager to pay for his soothing wisdom. In 2007, Fast Company estimated Gladwell does "roughly 25 speaking gigs a year, his current going rate some $40,000 per appearance." That would translate into roughly $1 million that year in speaking fees alone—four times what he made at the New Yorker in 2005. It’s a huge amount of money, as far as speaker’s salaries go. For comparison: Mitt Romney only made $500,000 in speaking fees in 2010.

Peace & Fucking. Believe, √Dontletthemwin (talk) 09:52, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Somehow I guess that Gladwell's talks, no matter how overly hyped, are at least twice as interesting as Romney's. But Romney aside, if you have reliable sources for Gladwell's income as speaker, let's hear more. Just cut the editorializing: these people were eager to pay for Gladwell, but it's not for you to infer that it was the soothingness of his wisdom that they were after. -- Hoary (talk) 10:51, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
"Let's hear more." OK. A largely laudatory 2005 San Francisco Chronicle said Gladwell charged $45K per corporate lecture. User:Aecwriter

Hey Hoar, will you do the honors of putting in a section on his speaking fees?

That would be mighty nice of you...after all the censorship and deletion and obstruction you've been involved in this week.

Peace & Fucking. Believe,

Dontletthemwin (talk) 05:04, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

"Hoar"? You're quite the wag, old chap! ¶ Yes, I started something, thanks to the tip above by Aecwriter. Trouble is, the source isn't absolutely clear: He commands a cool $45,000 as a speaking fee to tell the likes of Hewlett-Packard executives why everything they're doing is, er, wrong and to pronounce focus groups an absolute waste of time and money. (One's first understanding is that this is the fee for a single talk, but it needn't be.) You may wish to use reliable sources to add to this -- without, of course, pushing a particular point of view. -- Hoary (talk) 06:32, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Hoar! You're a grade a champ—even though you reek of corporate blandness and mind numbing mediocrity! I expanded a bit on your edit...I'll add more when I return from my date with a hot blonde. We're gonna surf!
Dontletthemwin (talk) 21:54, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Right, Dontletthemwin. If you're the Ron Jeremy of Wikipedia editing, I'm just the Charles Pooter. But I try to improve articles within my crippling constraints of time, energy, and intelligence. All the best in your priapic off-wiki exploits! -- Hoary (talk) 04:18, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Point of information - that calculation and comparison above isn't right, since it's comparing a maximum gross revenue for Gladwell to the actual net earnings for Romney. You can't just take the asking price $X, multiply it by n, and attribute that number to the speaker. The speaking agency takes a commission, there may be a manager/agent taking a commission, there can be expenses coming out of the fee, and so on. And he may not get top rate for every appearance. So doing $40,000 x 25 = one million isn't what he necessarily gets for himself. It's still a nice chunk of change, but not quite as much as it sounds. (Disclaimer - I wandered by from seeing this discussion on the reliable source notice board, and know a little bit about the speaking business from looking into other situations. I have no strong feelings about Gladwell one way or the other, though I find some of his writings to have thinking errors, and I don't have a whole lot of regard for the corporate-pundit occupation in general). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 01:40, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

You make good points, and it's refreshing to see somebody new here who doesn't display strong feelings about Gladwell. Please keep an eye on the article. -- Hoary (talk) 07:45, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Removal of material[edit]

Why were my edits removed? They were reverted with "rv see talk page". I've seen that there is an edit war between some users here that keep deleting material related to the Exiled article, and an IP that keep posting it back. I've never engaged in Wikipedia revert wars and do not wish to do so. But I believe the summary I posted contained links to the sources mentioned by the Exiled article and I restricted the summary to actual points related to Gladwell (the whole Exiled article goes on a lot of tangents). What exactly is inappropriate/incorrect in my contribution? I'm afraid it was deleted as a whole as part of the ongoing edit war, and that not all points of information were evaluated individually as I can't fathom that all of those sources were invalid. For the record I did read all those WP:RS that keep being posted on this talk page, and I'm as concerned about reliable sources as everyone else, so that's why I went to the actual sources mentioned by the Exiled article. If there are problems with what I wrote, can't we improve on that instead of just erasing the matter as if there was no issue?

One point in particular is undeniable: there are criticisms on Gladwell based on the conflict of interest issue. That's so true that he went through the effort of writing that disclosure after the fact himself. How can that not be a reliable source? There must be a possible way to mention this whole ordeal in the article. Deleting the whole thing cannot be the only possible action, let's not wipe that whole issue under the rug.

Thank you! --LodeRunner (talk) 18:38, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

This diff shows that your sources were,,,, That's Gladwell himself and the Columbia Journalism Review, and three other sites that have each been discussed above. -- Hoary (talk) 08:20, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
Dear LodeRunner, don't mind the Hoar Meister. He's intent on preventing any criticism, no matter how factual, from staining Saint Gladwell's hallowed Wiki page.
As for you Hoar: yes, those sources have been discussed above and no one has any problems with it on this page, other than you. Can we get a vote on this issue or what?
As always, your friend. Peace & Fucking. Believe,
Dontletthemwin (talk) 06:21, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Then try to gain WP:CONSENSUS for the stuff - re-adding it will not get you very far. Cheers. Collect (talk) 07:35, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Hoary is not alone. There are several experienced editors who disagree with mostly single purpose account editors - I for one. Also, see the discussion at WP:BLPN.--Bbb23 (talk) 22:39, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I love the discrimination and the falsehoods. Not all the accounts insisting that Gladwell's conflicts of interest be included in his Wiki page are single purpose account editors. LodeRunner being a prime example. So please don't pull Wiki rank on people who don't piss away their lives standing in the way of open information and honest debate. Thanks for letting me know about the discussion the discussion, though.
Dontletthemwin (talk) 06:21, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
"mostly single purpose account editors" - you're welcome.--Bbb23 (talk) 02:52, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Verifying sales figures for "Tipping Point"?[edit]


does anyone have access to the Times Online pay-per-view content? I'm trying to verify the claim at the end of the Works section here, stating that The Tipping Point sold over 2 million copies. Now, in the freely accessible NYT source to that statement, it only claims 1.7 million, and I'd like to know what the other source says:

Thanks for your answers!

--Georgepauljohnringo (talk) 08:30, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

If you do have that source included, you might want to embed the {{subscription required}} template within the reference. There's nothing more annoying than clicking on a link and not being able to get the information in the preview. Thanks. Lighthead...KILLS!! 16:34, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Is it just me, or am I talking to myself. Lighthead...KILLS!! 04:13, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

I think I'm talking to myself. Time to edit. Lighthead þ 21:04, 27 August 2012 (UTC)


At least two stale half-discussions at BLP/N are relevant to this article: this in archive 154 and this in archive 159. -- Hoary (talk) 00:12, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Quoted hypertext (not)[edit]

Something slightly odd happened in this edit of mine, abbreviating the edit summary, which should have read something like Pinker didn't write in hypertext.

When we quote people saying something, we should not add our own hyperlinks to this something, however innocuous, sensible and helpful the hyperlinks may seem. -- Hoary (talk) 01:55, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

The Corruption of Malcolm Gladwell[edit]

I'm not sure of the general practice, but is it customary to mention any biographies or books that have been written about a person in their Wikipedia article? If so, would it be appropriate to mention Yasha Levine's book somewhere in here? Esn (talk) 08:28, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it's normal to mention books. On the other hand, this "book" seems only to exist as an ebook for the "Kindle". Oh, hang on, we don't need a Kindle. So maybe it's OK after all. -- Hoary (talk) 08:58, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Malcolm Gladwell's tobacco speaking fees not relevant/important?[edit]

It's been about a year since the edit war regarding Gladwell's well-documented tobacco connections: (also see above)... and all mention of it has since been wiped clean. I guess Wiki's editors do not consider Malcolm Gladwell's history of taking money from tobacco industry while advocating against the right of people to sue tobacco companies for liability is's not something that someone interested in Gladwell could possibly want to know about...

Peace & Fucking. Believe. √Dontletthemwin (talk) 20:33, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

===I too find it astonishing there is absolutely no mention of his pro-tobacco stance in this article. Honestly makes it one-sided and therefore worthless. Paul Moloney (talk) 12:47, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

===== Anyone gonna try to take a stab at this? ===== --Dontletthemwin (talk) 21:55, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

The new Malcolm Gladwell book, David and Goliath[edit]

I am new to wiki and I am interested in Malcolm Gladwell and his books. I added a small contribution naming the book. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cornelius754 (talkcontribs) 08:15, 21 September 2013 (UTC)


Have commenced tidy-up of the Bibliography section using cite templates. Capitalization and punctuation follow standard cataloguing rules in AACR2 and RDA, as much as Wikipedia templates allow it; feel free to continue. Sunwin1960 (talk) 05:55, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 4 external links on Malcolm Gladwell. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 06:58, 8 January 2016 (UTC)