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Malcolm Gladwell at City Arts & Lectures

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Mark Sullivan Avatar
Mark Sullivan
Posted: 08.18.10, 10:23 AM
I read his book and didn't quite know what to think. Hmmm. . .if you practice something a lot, you get better. . .now that's a brand new theory! In my final analysis, I just heard him repeat the often stated idea that success is when preparation and opportunity cross paths. I also tried to apply his theory to every citizen alive today - can they see opportunities that are avialable due the circumstances of the economy, the culture, trends, fads, the weather, demography, etc., that is unique and could they possibly find ways to seek success through entreprenurial means - in other words, deliberately achieve what the Beatles and other persons in his book did. Gladwell tells their stories as if their success was completely unplanned - could a person do it deliberately?
Sarah999 Avatar
Posted: 12.06.09, 02:31 PM
The 10,000 hours of practice is true for many successful people, however . . true genius does not require 10,000 hours. There are geniuses that can learn a language in a week, or multiply huge numbers in their heads, or paint incredibly well, with no training and virtually practice (certainly not 10,000 hours.) There is that women that remembers everything that every happened to her. "The women that can't forget". She doesn't practice any amount of hours. She just does. I like Gladwell, but in this book . . his points are not correct.
thecamlayton Avatar
Posted: 11.17.09, 10:51 PM
@Dongee I think the point was that, as with the success of the hockey players, so too the success of the Beatles is generally misapprehended by people. The Beatles' hard work is what "rigged" their gigantic success, but you never hear that story just as you never hear about most pro hockey players being born in Jan., Feb., and Mar. The Beatles suck. :-P
MikeRoberts Avatar
Posted: 10.15.09, 10:47 AM
I think that with the Beatles, they would have probably been successful to some degree(as least John and Paul would have, I think. However, it was this series of beneficial co-incidences that allowed them to find that niche and springboard them onto that international stage...beyond that, it was simply that they were better at foreseeing what the public was going to find interesting.
VeganBoy13507 Avatar
Posted: 09.13.09, 09:50 PM
His book insists that all success is based on an insane string of circumstances, and that there were defiantly better musical groups that simply didn't get as lucky.
dongee Avatar
Posted: 09.11.09, 01:24 PM
First he says “meritocracies are rigged”. Then he says the Beatles became great by “playing eight hour sets, seven days a week, for months at a stretch.” Sounds inconsistent. What am I missing here? BTW, I’ve never heard anyone else say the Beatles were prodigies.
Newspeaker Avatar
Newspeaker + Staff
Posted: 03.11.09, 01:36 PM
that is precisely what makes gladwell's work so appealing - it addresses complex questions with simple and clever answers, derived from various, interesting disciplines and experiments. the key is to enjoy them, as such, while realizing there is actually much more to the answers than he offers. gladwell admits this. it is also necessary when aiming for the general audience, as he does.
colling0 Avatar
Posted: 02.11.09, 10:52 AM
We try so hard to make complicated things simple, to reign them in so we can wrap our intellect's arms around them. I'm guilty of it daily. What makes the Beatles the Beatles is a myriad of circumstances, efforts (lots), musical inclinations and talent, happenstance, relationships, etc. It can't be reduced to a formula. I love Gladwell and read all his stuff, and Blink has been a great confidence booster for me, but this looks to be a searching for , that has become an oversimplification, no?
farber2 Avatar
Posted: 01.27.09, 06:26 PM
mozart, agassi, etc. as long as you use the term prodigy right, it exists sometimes.
savageb Avatar
Posted: 01.26.09, 01:17 PM
Gladwell is right. It's not that he's questioning the Beatles talent, but what made them so great was those "10,000 hours" of playing in that strip club in Hamburg.

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