Eoghan and I were at the Malcolm Gladwell talk last night in UCD. It was fascinating; he was a brilliant speaker, and had a full O’Reilly Hall riveted. I wasn’t surpised to learn that he has commanded €100,000 an appearance.
I’m a big fan of his work, and loved Blink. Eoghan’s a big fan of those mathematic-psychology type books like Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness and Freakonmics so I think we both got something out of it.
Gladwell talked about one of the chapters in his new book, Outliers. He theorised that pilots are shaped by their culture and their attitude to authority figures and how this can lead to problems in the cockpit and fatal plane crahes. He peppered his main plot with anecdotes and interesting asides that I think got all our synapses firing.
A time for questions came at the end and I am gutted that I hadn’t gone through my Google Reader before the talk, otherwise I might have asked him about this.
Why is it that these books on success and on high achievers don’t feature any women? And why are they almost always written by men?
Julia Cheiffetz over at The Huffington Post wonders:
“It is hard to know whether women are better at telling stories than propagating ideas… or whether the intellectual audacity required to sell our hypotheses about the world simply isn’t in our genetic makeup. But until we get in the ring and start claiming our own big ideas in book form, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised if current discourse leaves us on the sidelines.”
I bought a copy of the book (got it signed too) and I know I’m going to enjoy it, but I would love to have asked him about why no high achieving women are featured in Outliers. I’m seriously kicking myself that I didn’t.