Not your standard issue late twenty-something's blog.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Big Hair = Smart

I knew Manning Marable and Cornell West were smart. Malcolm Gladwell needs to be added to this list of big-haired scholars whose work I admire. Heard him speak at the Learning Annex last night in a seminar mistakenly called: "How to Flood Any Business with Customers."

The seminar was actually about his latest book, Blink. Of his main points one is: taking us out of situations where we might potentially make bad snap judgments. Public school kids should wear uniforms (lessen the effects of judgments based on appearance). Cops shouldn't travel in pairs or groups (lessen the probability of poor actions based on bravado or stupid group mentality, i.e. Amadou Diallo). High-speed chases should be banned (Rodney King's beating was actually about stress, cortisol and adrenalin, not racism). All auditions for orchestras should take place behind screens (to lessen bias against women and the notion that only men can play classical music).

Fascinating stuff, to be sure. My question for him was: aren't these notions relieving humanity of the onus of evolution? Sure, if you never have to deal with your bias or prejudice, it'll never manifest itself. Hm. How convenient. And tidy. And not really . . . human.

He also said we should listen to our instincts when they have a foundation of years of experience. Giving structure to our spontaneity. The highest percentage of driving fatalities occur with men under the ages of 22. They make poor snap judgments because they haven't been driving long. I could make a snap judgment about what stock to buy without my dad's help but it'd be a mistake. In other word, intuition is the fruit of experience.

My brain's reeling. Comments welcome. Cool article on Slate in relation to this topic:


Blogger John said...

Well then who was smarter in 1988: Tempestt Bledsoe or Lita Ford?

Knock knock? Who's there. Tempestt Bledsoe. Tempestt Bledsoe who? Tempestt Bledsoe much she fainted. Ha ha ha.

1:46 PM

Blogger Kath said...

Does everyone see this? My sole journalist friend comments upon the only intelligent blog I've written with a quip about Tempest Bledsoe. Jesus Christ.

1:02 PM


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