*Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know*

That is the new, forthcoming Malcolm Gladwell book, due out in September, you can pre-order here.


Gladwell or his editors might have found an engaging title had they only substituted the preposition "with" for the preposition "to" in the main title (a further pity that the colon cannot take a rest from publishers' insistence that cute [virtually content-free] main titles should risk any kind of specificity with a required quasi-informative subtitle).

The title as given is exactly the construction most of us hear most of the time from our corrupt and corrupting Media Establishment as from our lying and spying Tech Establishment: routinely, "we" are spoken TO, and seldom if ever "with".

I agree with Burke about "to" versus "with."

My field is K-12. I encourage teachers to talk "with" parents. But it's uphill battle. More efficient is talking "to."

We did an RCT on talking "with." Large gains. Friendly economists then substituted talking "to." Small gains.

no importa los bollocks.
¿Qué es el día internacional del choque?

Talking With Strangers would not invoke that construct you mention, which seems to be an important concept in his argument. I think you have a good point but the book title is the wrong place to insert that idea. The title works because it’s a phrase that many readers haven’t really thought about since their childhood. By sending us back to this child’s perspective, an immature view of the world, he can make us wonder just how more mature our perspective is today.

I'm with Jeff T on this in the fact that the title elicits the memory of what we were told about talking to strangers. Besides, today very few of us talk WITH anyone, which I believe that is one of the most unfortunate things to come from the advent of social media. Social media allows us to be the Wizard of Oz. We've become Society Unplugged, believing we can say whatever unfiltered thought we have. Our virtual anonymity makes us bolder, braver and sometime crueller. We fail to consider the consequences of our words and seem to think that saying defending our "right to an opinion" with little to no accountability. So is the title "Talking to Strangers" preferable to "Talking with Strangers"? I believe so.

I read the title and thought, great, why and how to talk to strangers (I love to). But according to the blurb at Amazon, that's not this book. This book is of the genre be afraid, very afraid. According to the blurb, our problem is that we don't know how to talk to strangers; no, our problem is talking to anybody. Bernie Madoff (one of the subjects of the book) preyed not on strangers, but his friends. "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"

The Shadow.

As he approached Seventeenth Street, he gathered his backpack, shot his eyes down the hexagonal asphalt to the painters in their lawn chairs, the Hare Krishna’s chanting and the Memorial flag; as he descended the stairs to the subway platform, he was often overcome by a feeling that surely in Boerum Hill, where he headed most every evening, where New York’s vaudeville and pantomime dwellers retired, something mysterious must happen, only nothing did. Things happened at a distance, time passed slowly but the distance took its measure and time passed him by.

I follow retired Marine General Mattis' advice.

Be prepared to defend yourself. Observe the surroundings. Keep moving. Maintain a low profile.

"Gentlemen. Prepare to defend yourselves!" - Sargeant Major Basil L. Plumley

good point
maintain a low profile

That's one Amazon blurb where the "Read more" link is better left safely undisturbed.

Bueno puento
senor malcom
Perdiste tus herramientas?
le prestaremos algunas herramientas.

es Malcom Gladwell va a arruinar las vacaciones de verano?

This guy sure has milked an entire career out of praising abortion 19 years ago.

My favorite text from his wikipedia: "After being rejected by every advertising agency he applied to, he accepted a journalism position"

The people you don't know want limited government and lower government pensions, so they can have lower taxes. Done.

I was recently in New Zealand for three weeks--mostly on the South Island, but briefly on the North Island. Driving into Auckland from the east following a visit to a rural garden I was struck by housing development in the rather distant suburbs--a large number fairly small two story single family houses being built on lots that seemed to have only about five feet of outside space on all four sides. Seemingly not even enough room to have a barbeque in the "back yard". There were hundreds either newly built or being built. (Some duplexes too, but single family seemed to dominate.

Oops, commented on the wrong post. Should have been the one posted just after this one.

Don't worry, it's more insightful on this topic than anything Gladwell has to say

I blow it with many strangers. I meet some who are selling something, a scheme or plot. I just get curious, though I know much of it is fiction, designed to swindle me, I get get curious about the plot. The inevitable sucker.

Comments for this post are closed