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Way back in 2005, 2006, and 2008, when Malcolm Gladwell was wildly esteemed, I pointed out the fundamental flaws in his thinking. This led Malcolm, in his disastrous 2009 debate with Steven Pinker, to denounce me in the New York Times as an evil source of data about (of all things) NFL quarterbacks: "Sailer, for the uninitiated,... Read More
From my book review in Taki's Magazine:
Law professor Ian Ayres did a study once showing that car salesmen tend to drive tougher bargains with black shoppers than with white shoppers. Malcolm Gladwell explained in Blink that this was only because the car salesmen didn't realize they were being prejudiced, and would stop as soon as they read Blink and realize they are leaving money on the table. Judge... Read More
From the St. Petersburg Times:Here's how they have Dan trying to learn golf: He couldn't put
From the Malcolm Gladwell Book Generator website.My old articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer
In recent years, David Brooks of the NYT has taken up Malcolm Gladwell's rhetorical straw man device of writing as if the conventional wisdom in 21st Century American media circles consists of a cartoonish caricature of my ideas. Gladwell and Brooks then go on to refute Sailerism to vast applause.Not surprisingly, Brooks writes in the... Read More
Malcolm Gladwell begins his latest tussle with Steven Pinker with these confidence-inducing words: If you're going to wrestle with Harvard cognitive scientist Steven Pinker over who is a more credible authority on cognitive science, you should probably try to learn how to spell his first name, especially after the "igon values" fiasco.By the way, that... Read More
As many have pointed out, Malcolm Gladwell stuck to his guns over his obviously false assertion that there's "no connection" between draft rank and NFL quarterback performance in his attack on Steven Pinker because that was just a proxy for IQ and race.Now, Gladwell goes on the attack against Pinker on IQ with exactly what... Read More
Why is it worth thinking about Malcolm Gladwell?Because Malcolm takes the politically correct conventional wisdom (you can't make useful predictions about people, heredity doesn't matter, just environment and effort, etcetera etcetera) seriously enough to apply it in all sorts of situations where a more prudent hack would shy away, making him the a One-Man Reductio... Read More
In the New York Times here.You've already seen Malcolm Gladwell's letter, with his ad hominem attack on me as a crimethinker. I'd half-assumed that the NYT would cut that part out in the interests of saving space, but they left it in.From the NYT:Steven Pinker replies:What Malcolm Gladwell calls a “lonely ice floe” is what... Read More
Terry McDermott blogs for the Columbia Journalism Review:The comparison to Tom Friedman is a valid one.Still, "being popular" correlates with being influential. That Malcolm is a tireless and influential proponent of wrong ideas is a problem, especially as his ideas take on (particularly in his most recent bestseller
From It is always a pleasure to be reviewed by someone as accomplished as Stephen [sic] Pinker, even if—in his comments on “What the Dog Saw” [which you can buy here] (Nov. 15)—he is unhappy with my spelling (rightly!) and with the fact that I have not joined him on the lonely ice floe... Read More
Was Steven Pinker correct when dismissing in the New York Times Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker article "Most Likely to Succeed" with the words, "It is simply not true that a quarter­back’s rank in the draft is uncorrelated with his success in the pros"?Gladwell's statement of his position is quite uncompromising:"No connection" is not, in fact,... Read More
In the NYT, Steven Pinker reviews Malcolm Gladwell's greatest hits book of New Yorker article reprints, What the Dog Saw: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.... Read More
The economy collapsed when Lehman Bros. went bankrupt on September 15, 2008. Joe Wiesenthal of Clusterstock has now brought to the public's attention the real villain behind the economic crash. On p. 120 of Andrew Ross Sorkin's book Too Big to Fail, in a discussion of Lehman's president Joseph Gregory:Now that I think about it,... Read More
It's easy to tell how good Michael Lewis's sports articles in the New York Times Magazine are by comparing them to Malcolm Gladwell's sports articles in The New Yorker.Malcolm now has an enormous article up which, when you leave out his voluminous retelling of the little-known plot of an obscure movie called "Lawrence of Arabia"... Read More
Here's my review of Malcolm Gladwell's new bestseller, Outliers: The Story of Success.Here's an excerpt from my 3700 word review:Malcolm never misses an opportunity to miss the point. For example, consider the self-evident stupidity of Gladwell’s title, Wikipedia, "Statistics derived from data sets that include outliers may be misleading." For example, say you are a... Read More
Various laws attempt to protect and reward insider whistleblowers who call to public attention wrongdoing by the institutions that employ them. But little incentive exists for outsiders to point out big shots' fraud and misinformation, other than public approbation. So, let's take a moment to salute Harry Markopolous, who first brought Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme... Read More
I haven't managed to finish Malcolm Gladwell's new #1 bestseller, Outliers, yet, because it's so full of snarkworthy goodness. Here's a taste from p. 80:So that explains Yao Ming's career! See, he's at least 6'-6" -- so he's over the NBA threshold ... by 11 inches, granted, but once you are over the threshold, according... Read More
From the new Amazon webpage of Malcolm Gladwell's November 2008 guaranteed bestseller, "Outliers:
I was going to comment on a recent lecture New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell gave to a conference of math teachers on how some students are like Picasso and everything comes quickly to them, while others are like Cezanne, where it takes them a long time before they become geniuses.I came up with a theory... Read More
On Monday, I linked to Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker article "None of the Above: What race doesn't tell you about IQ." Several of my commenters alertly called attention to Gladwell's line:Obviously, this is flatly wrong. As "yo" acidly observed,This afternoon, following earlier critical comments by "Rain And" and "rone," I posted on the blog:... Read More
Jason Kottke reports that Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink, has finished his new book: "I've learned that the subject of this book is the future of the workplace with subtopics of education and genius."Hopefully, Malcolm's views on the future of the workplace will just cause businesses to waste money on Gladwell-promoted fads that they would... Read More
He hasn't posted anything on his blog since January 4, 2007. (He also hasn't published any articles in The New Yorker since the January 8, 2007 issue. I would guess he's working on his third book.)Blogging wasn't a good use of his time. Besides the opportunity cost of writing for free, it was too emotionally... Read More
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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