Cameron Cabral Mr. DeLuca AP Seminar 6 September 2017 Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell Speaker “Let me give you one final example of the hidden opportunities that outliers benefit from. Suppose we do another version of the calendar analysis we did in the previous chapter with the hockey players, only this time looking at the birth years, not birth months… ” (Gladwell 56) Throughout the book, Gladwell uses an abundance of charts, graphs, and statistics in order to prove his point that outliers do not succeed on their own. In the above example, Gladwell compiles a list of the “seventy-five richest people in human history” and points out a trend in which many of the names were born within a 10 year span in America. This attention to detail reveals Gladwell as an intelligent man and influences the reader to trust Gladwell’s word. “Just to be clear: it is still the case that Harvard produces more Nobel Prize winners than any other school… But wouldn’t you expect schools like Harvard to win more Nobels than they do? Harvard is, after all, the richest, most prestigious school in history and has its pick of the most brilliant undergraduates the world over”(Gladwell 83) In the quote above, Gladwell interrupts the flow of his writing in order to deflate a potential counterargument. This is a wise move on the behalf of Gladwell because he reinforces his initial claim that the student selection process is flawed by retaliating a possible
counterclaim. This stresses the idea that Gladwell has thought long and hard about the subject and has looked at many different forms of evidence, therefore building Gladwell’s credibility as an author.
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- Winter '16
- John Saurette
- Tone, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell, Christopher Langan