Outliers: The Story Of Success Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers: The Story Of Success Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers: The Story Of Success Malcolm Gladwell Subsection 1: First Quarter By: Jose Maria Linares 1. Roseto Valfortore: Intro Town in the foothills of the Italian Apennines. Exodus of Rosetans to America, ended up near Bangor, Pennsylvania 1894: 1200 Rosetans applied for

American Passport Roseto, Pennsylvania 1. Roseto: Issue Heart attack epidemic in the US Leading cause of death in men under 65 Stewart Wolf, physician, investigated Roseto for heart attack death rates Heart disease in Roseto, 50% of US No suicide, alcoholism, or drug addiction Roseto was an outlier, a place were the normal rules do not apply.

2. Roseto: Hypotheses Dietary practices Found out Rosetans struggled with obesity (41% of calories came from fat) Genetics Tracked down relatives of Rosetans, but these did not share their heatlhy condition Location People in Bangor and Nazareth had death rates from Heart

Disease 3 times higher. 2. Roseto: Conclusion The Rosetans were healthy because of where they came from, because of the world they had created for themselves in their tiny town in the hills. Understand heart attacks in a new way: looking beyond the individual Culture he or she was part of have a profound effect Second Quarter

3. Correlation of Intellect and Achievement Through the second quarter of Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell supports his argument of success by juxtaposing achievement and intellect. According to him, by no stretch of the imagination or of standards of genius is the gifted group as a whole gifted. We have seen that intellect and achievement are far from perfectly correlated (Gladwell 91). He exemplifies such statement with the case of Termans Termites by demonstrating how these, despite having an IQ above 135, didnt become successful people. According to Gladwell, the IQ test is an improper measure of success since it doesnt evaluate a persons practical

intelligence. Therefore, he concludes that after breaking the threshold of a good enough IQ, the practical intelligence becomes the tie-breaker. 3. Defining Practical Intelligence Besides possessing a high IQ, which is required for achieving high education and knowledge, the EQ (Emotional Quotient) is crucial for a persons Practical Intelligence. As he defines it, practical intelligence includes: knowing what to say to whom, knowing when to say it, and knowing how to say it for a maximum effect (Gladwell, 109). Thus, practical intelligence becomes a tool for maximizing the IQ. While IQ is a measure of innate ability, the EQ

is acquired knowledge. However, such knowledge is shaped throughout life and here; Gladwell mentions how parenting (during childhood) is essential to the development of Practical Intelligence. 4. Parenting and Its Nature To shape his argument on parenting, Gladwell alludes to a study done by Annete Lareau on such matter. According to Lareau, wealthier parents are heavily involved in their childrens free time, while children in poor families are more independent. She states that for poor children, their play time wasnt soccer practice twice a week. It was making up games outside with their siblings and other kids in the neighborhood (Gladwell 121). Here, the contrast of wealthykids and poor-kids childhoods reflects the eventual

development of different personalities. While poor children develop a sense of independence, wealthier ones develop a dominant personality. Meanwhile, middle-class children build up a sense of entitlement, as they enjoy the right to pursue individual preferences. As a result, Gladwell concludes that different personalities start to evolve from the moment people are toddlers, until they die with distinguished traits. 4. Different Children From Different Parenting Background Furthermore, these children evolve to becoming different people, with different ratios of Practical Intelligence. Gladwell suggests that contrasting parenting backgrounds ignite a variety of distinct personalities due to different experiences

through childhood. Also, children in different economic classes establish particular relationships with their parents. For example, Gladwell mentions that the working class and poor children were characterized by an emerging sense of distance, distrust, and constraint. They didnt know how to get their way or how to customize whatever the environment they were in (Gladwell 130). On the other hand, wealthier kids establish dominant traits, and are able to shape and blend the different situations presented by their environment. Hence, when these children grow up, only some will develop the social savvy skills needed to manage a situation wisely. Even if all of them are gifted with exceptional IQs, intellect is not the only ingredient of success.

Third Quarter The Three Lessons of Joe Flom 5. Joe Flom and his Story To extend his argument of achieving success, Gladwell uses Joe Flom as a stereotype of a typical outlier in this sense. According to the information provided by Gladwell, the reader depicts Flom as the typical poor boy who struggles to obtain education, but finally ends up graduating from Harvards Law School. Even though Flom exemplifies Gladwells intentions congruently, the fact that Flom depicts a stereotypical character makes Gladwells argument lose credibility and interest. Therefore, since the moment Gladwell mentions Harvard in his example, the

reader can imagine the end of the story: he struggles to find a job, and decides to start his own law firm, which later becomes the most important firm in the US. Indeed, that was the case. 5. Lesson Number One Immediately after portraying the typical-success story, Gladwell points out that even though Joe Flom is a stereotypical example of success, the details of his life make him a true outlier, unlike many other successful people. To accomplish this, he contrasts the live of Flom with that of a Jew classmate he had at Harvard Law School: Alexander Bickel. These two shared similar backgrounds since Bickell was also the son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants who lived in Brooklyn (Gladwell

194). Unlike Flom, who went to make his own law firm, Bickell struggled to find a job since he wasnt from the right background. At this point, Gladwell directly points out how Bickells cultural and racial background blocked his path towards success, as New York law firms would tend to exclude foreigners as the image of their work. On the other hand, Flom started his firm in the perfect moment to do so. Just like Gates and Jobs did with computers. At the perfect moment. 6. Lesson Number Two For the second lesson, Gladwell compares the success stories of a father and his son: Maurice and Mort Janklow. Both enjoyed a fruitful education and became lawyers; however, their stories were pretty different. Here, Gladwells

previous argument of timing comes into place. I believe the generational difference between a father and his son might become critical aspects of success. In this case, Maurice (the father) finished college and married just after the Great Depression erupted. Therefore, his prospects of high achievement were economically killed by the Depression. On the other hand, Mort was born in the 1930s: baby boom, later economic boom in the 1970s. Therefore, even though Maurice and Mort mightve enjoyed very high IQs, and wide spectrum of achievement, Mort is the true outlier. He had something his father lacked: demographic luck. 6. Lesson Number Three Unlike in Colombia, where success comes from wealthy

backgrounds (Luis Carlos Sarmiento, the Santo Domingos, etc), in New York City it yields from a different background. To illustrate this point, Gladwell exemplifies his argument with the lives of many humble immigrants from different backgrounds who end up producing successful offspring. I can relate this argument to the life of Leo Katz, whose parents migrated to Colombia after the Holocaust and established a Panadera in downtown Bogot. Even though they struggled to keep their business alive and producing, they were able of producing successful offspring. Leo Katz, nowadays, is the owner of Bogots most prestigious line of restaurant. Effectively, his background contributed to his success. In a genetic aspect, his parents gave him that instinct of finding success in a lugubrious landscape.

Fourth Quarter Legacy 7. Feuds in the Cumberland Plateau Gladwell starts this new section of Outliers illustrating a violent environment in Harlan, Kentucky. This town, as many other Appalachian towns in the nineteenth century, witnessed an ongoing family feud between its founding families: the Howards and the Turners. According to Gladwell, such feud was a persisting clash that carried on from generation to generation until the early twentieth century. Also, as Gladwell describes it, at the same time that the Howards and the Turners were killing one another, there were almost identical clashes in other small towns up and down the Appalachians

(Gladwell, 203). But even though we can picture many feuds throughout universal literature, like the Capulets and Montagues in Romeo and Juliet, these Appalachian feuds extended to become violent massacres. In this region, the Cumberland Plateau, where the average population oscillated between twelve and fifteen thousand people, there was found over one thousand indictments of murderer due to these feuds. As Gladwell later concludes, this pattern of events tends to happen due to something called culture of honor. 7. Cultures of Honor These cultures of honor, as Gladwell explains us, tend to take root in highlands and other marginally fertile areas, such as Sicily or the mountainous Basque regions of Spain (Gladwell 219). The reason to the birth of this strain lay in the lack of

agriculture in these areas (since mountainous territory doesnt lend itself for farming), which therefore leads to the adoption of herding as a method of economic well being. The culture that develops around being a herdsman differs substantially from that of agriculture. While a farmer depends on the cooperation of others in the community for his own survival, herdsmen are off by themselves. They have to worry that their livestock might be stolen over night; therefore, they develop an aggressive personality. As a result, we can see how the Appalachian back state of the United States contained so many quarrels throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century. 8. The Borderland Culture

The borderlands, developed to be remote and lawless territories that had been fought over since the beginning of their colonization. These were herdsmen, scraping out a living on a rocky and infertile land. They were clannish, responding to harshness and turmoil of their environment by forming tight family bonds and placing loyalty to blood above all else (Gladwell 234). However, these people didnt develop this sense of pertinence and loyalty out of the blue. According to Gladwell, the back country states were settled mainly by one of the most ferocious cultures of honor in the world: the Scotts-Irish. These people, throughout their history, developed a violent perception of the world due to their secluded location. As the Spanish Basque, the Scotts Irish became lawless people steeped in violence. When these settled in the Appalachians, their style of living would inevitably be transmitted

to the several herdsmen in the borderlands. 8. The Triumph of the Cultures of Honor Gladwell argues that the development of these cultures of honor throughout the Appalachian borderlands helps to explain why the pattern of criminality in the American South has always been so distinctive. However, homicides in the south arent due to crimes of property, or muggings. Instead, as sociologist John Shelton Reed writes (quoted by Gladwell), the homicides in which the South seems to specialize are those in which someone is being killed by someone he (or often she) knows, for reasons both killer and victim understand (Gladwell 251). Therefore, violence in

these Southern territories didnt occur for economic gain, but instead, for a personal one. As these cultures of honor in the Cumberland Plateau, people fight over their honor. That was a legacy that the Scotts-Irish culture left to them.

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