Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Trouble with Big Idea Books (and book writers such as Malcolm Gladwell): Bulldozers of Idealogical Generalization

From a delicious rip of the current trend of big idea books - Outliers, World is Flat, Black Swan....
What troubles me about the Big Idea Book Club is the way ideas often slide toward ideologies—grand unifying theories of culture, cognition, happiness, talent, the Internet, the future, you name it. “The Hidden Side of Everything,” “The Story of Success”: the italics are mine, but the emphasis is theirs.
...I also detect the insidious influence of the Big Idea books, whose grand theories of humanity often wind up simplifying, ignoring, discounting, or occluding many of life’s complexities, including human individuality.



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