Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Julia Cheiffetz: What the Hell, Malcolm Gladwell:

The omission of women in Outliers says more about the nature of "big think" books than it does about Mr.Gladwell. Since the publication of The Tipping Point, we've seen a proliferation of books that present a single, shrink-wrapped idea as a means of understanding the world at large: books like The World is Flat, The Black Swan, The Wisdom of Crowds, The Long Tail. Now some of these books (the ones written by behavioral economists) tend toward the gee-whiz-isn't-that-interesting set like Predictably Irrational, Freakonomics, and The Undercover Economist. But the point is, all of them promise access to a club whose sole activity is the exchange of ideas; all of them promise, however covertly, to make us feel smarter. And all of them are written by men.