Sunday, May 11, 2008

Malcolm Gladwell on invention

Malcolm Gladwell is by far my favorite science journalist, and he has produced yet another fantastically interesting and well-research New Yorker piece. The article is entitled "In the Air: Who says big ideas are rare?". Gladwell takes on a somewhat neglected area of the philosophy and methodology of science, that is, the nature of scientific creativity. He argues, convincingly and at length, that the popular story of the "lone genius" without whom some or another discovery or invention would never have come about is a myth; instead, ideas are "in the air" (hence the title). "The genius," concludes Gladwell, "is not a unique source of insight; he is merely an efficient source of insight".


  1. Oh, excellent! I just finished The Tipping Point, so this is a most welcome discovery. I look forward to nosing around your blog some more.

  2. I actually haven't read The Tipping Point, only Blink. Is it any good?

    Gladwell is fantastic, all his New Yorker pieces are available for free here:

    Thanks! I hope you like my blog... :-)

  3. Oh, it's excellent! I haven't read Blink, yet, but I plan to. Hey, have to love a fellow philo person's blog. :->