Malcolm Gladwell

Since I’ve had enough of the podcasts threads being big messes, and I’m the kind of guy lonely enough that I listen to hours and hours of podcasts in lieu of friends, I’m gonna start making threads for individual podcasts or individuals to see if there’s enough legs in it to warrant an entire new thread.

Anyway, if there’s anyone in podcasting who deserves his own thread it’s ya boi Gladwell. The more I get to know the guy, the more he annoys the fuck out of me, even though I still find myself enjoying Revisionist History occasionally (though less and less with each season, these days it feels like he has one solid idea for an episode and then just fudges something together for the rest). When you agree with his viewpoint (which I have to agree, happens a fair bit) I find him interesting and get wrapped up in the whole ability he has to rouse you up and make you feel like something is absolute fact. However when he starts going off on one about a topic where you don’t agree with him, then you realise that a lot of his arguments are based off so much fucking conjecture and examples which fit a narrative but have such a loose connection with the real world.

Easiest example of this for people here is whenever he talks about music. He has such a bland taste in music, but talks about the artists he likes in a way that just feels so ridiculous, yet he manages to argue his case in a way that almost makes you agree with him. I was shocked when his first podcast for his new Pushkin Industries enterprise was Broken Record, which focuses on this particular theme. I’ll admit the Quincy Jones one was good, but that was because Quincy Jones was good. Otherwise, his episodes are so boring and self-congratulatory, it’s embarrassing at times. The episodes are at their best when he has as little to do with them as possible.

Anyway, other than the ones he’s involved with, I’m enjoying Against The Rules and Cautionary Tales which is enough to make me check out most podcasts that Pushkin will make. One thing that proper weirds me out about any Pushkin podcasts though is that in the credits at the end of them, the host always refers to him as “el presidente” or “the legend himself” or some hyperbolic term. At first I thought it was just something that perhaps the host decided to say, but now I’ve heard it on multiple Pushkin podcasts there’s a cringe-inducing moment where you realise that he must be telling anyone making a podcast on his network to refer to him that way. Jesus fucking christ.

Anyway, I’ll probably still end up listening to more of his stuff (except Broken Record) but what do you reckon of “el presidente”?

  • I like Malcolm a lot
  • I kind like Malcolm
  • I’m ambivalent towards Malcolm
  • I kinda dislike Malcolm
  • I dislike Malcolm
  • I don’t know who Malcolm is
  • I don’t care

0 voters

Malcolm Gladwell told New York, “I don’t remember much except being baffled as to who this Epstein guy was and why we were all on his plane"


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Needs to spend 10,000 hours working on better excuses


sorry i feel quite bad about this post. it reads very dismissively and I don’t like that, I just find that sentence very funny and I hate malcom.

Things gladwell is wrong about:

There are two types of music rock and country, rock songs like smells like teen spirit are upbeat and superficial, whereas country is more real feelings, which is enabled by lack of diversity somehow (his argument not mine)

Fries are better than mash

Britain ‘sided’ with the Protestants in Northern Ireland because of a shared religion

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I started listening to Revisionist History and found it interesting enough until the legendary (to my mind) country and rock episode, which betrays a lack of knowledge regarding music that is almost artfully baffling - inexplicable as it is for (a) the fact he speaks with so much confidence, and (b) the fact that an incredibly basic awareness of western popular music culture can totally debunk much of what hes saying



I love that we simulposted the country rock thing more or less


Harry Enfield is a positive example of how satire can be done right


That particular episode was jawdropping and the one where I realised I’d been duped.


Genuinely it’s an episode that deserves its own thread


I read his book David and Goliath and it just seems like he can’t tell the difference between his own pet theories and an evidenced argument , just seems to mash a load of things together hoping they stick, think it had some really odd things to say about dyslexia


He has a music based podcast as well doesn’t he

Yeah, Broken Record, and it’s exactly how you’d expect. It also makes me realise how boring Rick Rubin (co-host) is too. The episode where Rick interviews Tyler The Creator is proper cringe-inducing. The hyperbole he uses to describe his latest album makes it sound like it’s the greatest music that’s ever been made.

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I was really surprised when I heard his voice and saw his photo. Always assumed he was an old English posho

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Just the worst kind of pseudo-intellectual.

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I really like the books of his that i’ve read (outliers/tipping point/david v goliath). On the rare occasion i see him interviewed i never think he comes across so well.

Remember that episode where he used Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules, not as a springboard too explore Peterson’s bad ideas, but instead talked about hockey or something

Think he might have been in the Simpsons or something?

Malcolm Fucking Gladwell!


Twice apparently