[PDF/EPUB] Talking to Strangers What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know author Malcolm Gladwell
Especially when they are confident and lack obvious tells g shifty yes covered mouth Gladwell suggests most people default to truth when interacting with strangers and that considerable vidence is needed before we believe someone is lying Moreover he feels this approach is vital to our social compact By contrast he believes approaching people with distrust as a default such as police officers who see very person as a potential suspect would make normal functioning impossible In making his case Gladwell describes two cases of serial pedophiles who operated for decades before being caught Larry Nassar the doctor who molested young female gymnasts in his care often in the presence of their parents and Jerry Sandusky the coach who sodomized young boys in his sports programs and foster care Reading these stories which described how the young victims were raped and assaulted in page after page of xcruciating detail made me want to scrub my brain with bleach And then we get to Gladwell s conclusion that our inability to detect lies means that we should not be too harsh in judging the various adults who failed to protect children who were being sexually assaulted Here s how he puts it those victimized by default to truth deserve our sympathy not our censureTo clarify the victims in this sentence are not the children who were raped but the adults parents teachers mployers of pedophiles who ignored warning signs and suspicious behavior for years People who buried vidence People who dismissed the discomfort xpressed by the children who lacked the vocabulary to xplain the horror of being violated by an adult in a position of trustGraham Spanier the former Penn President was told by one of his own The Taste of Night employees that Sandusky was seen in the shower with a young boy at night in deserted gym facilities with his body right up against the child He did not go to the police He did not call Child Services He accepted the suggestion from another staff member that Sandusky was just horsing around and let the matter drop Gladwell has a lot of sympathy for Spanier stating people liked Grahman Spanier It s why he had such a brilliant career It s why you and I would want to work for him We want Graham Spanier as our President We think we want our guardians to be alert tovery suspicion We blame them when they default to truthwithout stopping to consider the conseuences of those actions Actually no I don t want Spanier as my university President Or anywhere xcept in a prison cell Nor do I think any conseuences could be worse than a society that allows children to be abused A little distrust or a trus UPDATE 92319I have now changed this to one star The I read about this and other pseudo psych crap he pushesno no no The njoyment of some parts of the book does not outweigh the total garbage of parts of it Two The Trust examples are linked below with a particularly shocking tidbit from one most important part of the first link Gladwell You know I have that chapter on Jerry Sandusky in my book and it s all about how I feel the leadership of Penn State was totally outrageously attacked over this I think they re blamelessSimmons YeahGladwell But with Joe Paterno Joe Paternossentially did nothing wrong He hears the allegation and immediately tells his superiors and the critiue of Joe Paterno was A Scandalous Regency Christmas essentially Why was a 75 year old football coach not behaving towards a suspected pedophile with the savvy and insi 922019 I m knocking this down to two stars Gladwell s really bad takes on things like race and sexual assault just don t deserve an okay ratingWow does this bookver suffer from a severe case of foot in mouth disease I almost didn t make it past the introduction In my pre publication copy Gladwell writes The Sandra Bland case came in the middle of a strange interlude in American public life and then goes on to discuss a series of cases of police violence against black people that happened around 2014 Strange interlude ReallyThat phrasing suggests that this treatment was some sort of aberration in American history and that the violence only happened during the few years he references Did Gladwell really mean to ignore America s long history of this problem I don t think so I think he may have meant that the attention paid to police violence was unusual but dude choose your words much carefullyLater on there are some good points made about how and why we tend to misunderstand The Return each other But again I almost put the book down this time while reading the chapter on the Brock Turner sexual assault case Without going into detail that chapter could only have been written by someone who s buried his head in the sand over the past five years or soIt s tough to ignore the problematiclements of Talking to Strangers I could absolutely see the discussion of the causes of sexual assault offending some readers to the point that they abandon the book altogether I ve definitely njoyed other books by the author a lot than this one Three stars but that s being generous Thanks to NetGalley and Little Brown and Company for giving me a DRC of this book which will be available for purchase on September 10th If this had just been stories about spies and the meeting between Hern n Cort s and Montezuma or whatever I would have rated it five stars There s no uestion that Malcolm Gladwell is a good storyteller I just wish that he would leave it at that and stop trying to shoe horn a bunch of tall tales into some sort of coherent statement about the state of the world I m not a scientist but I think that I know science when I see it I ain t seeing it here The
DEATH OF SANDRA IS WHAT of Sandra Bland is what a society does not know how to talk to strangers This is the stupidest thing I ve heard concerning this tragedy This was also the whole point of this book and Galdwell s facile xplanation is completely without meritThe cop was uite simply a ginormous fucking asshole We have it all on film for Christ s sake He just couldn t let it go that this black woman wasn t bowing down to him and had the temerity to light up a cigarette in his majestic presence He pulled her over as he states for failing to signal a lane change when he pulled behind her Are you kidding me What kind of cop does thatBrian Encinia OK ma am Pause You OKBland I m waiting on you This is your job I m waiting on you When re you going to let me go Encinia I don t know you seem very really irritatedBland I am I really am I feel like it s crap what I m getting a ticket for I was getting out of your way You were speeding up tailing meso yeah I m a little irritatedBrian Encinia Are you done Are you done What a total asshole There is absolutely no uestion that his tone was completely nasty just listen to the video He asked her if she was OK What does he Prince Hafizs Only Vice expect her to say Thank you for pulling me over and fucking with me for no reason whatsoever This was that point when it went from a bullshit traffic stop to something sinister on his part where he had something to prove to himself Unfortunately it came at thexpense of another human being who was simply trying to make it through the dayI wish that Sandra Bland had asked him Is this why you became a cop To hassle people for no good reason She was so incredibly reasonable and the cop was just a huge asshole End of story There are no two sides to this He is unfit for the job He Aristotle and Poetic Justice either hates black people or he just hates people Either way he doesn t deserve the public trust that is necessary to be a policemanThis brings up thentire nature of police work Like most other American kids I grew up on a steady diet of TV and movies in which the heroes were cops yet I never consider being a policeman for And Bid Him Sing: A Biography of Countée Cullen even a split second Why Probably because I just never felt the need to have power over anyonelse I never felt that I had something to prove We need to test police recruits for this tendency and weed them out if they have a chip on their shoulder like Brian Encinia He should definitely not be a policeman He is a terrible human being Bachelors and Bunnies: The Sexual Politics of Playboy especially after the fact when he testified that he felt his life was in dangerHuman beings are sometimes or oftentimes fooled by a load of shit some stranger passes off on them Gladwell is now infamous for cherry pickingxamples that prove his point while ignoring volumes that tell of a different outcome People are often wrong about the intentions of strangers they talk toexcept when they are rightIn all of his ramblings about the CIA the only conclusion we should come to is that the US should just stop spying and try being straightforward and open as a nation just to see where that gets us Spying has produced so little benefit Cyberwar: The Next Threat to National Security What to Do About It especially when you consider how much money we ve poured into that black hole OK we got Bin Laden but how much did it cost us to hunt down and assassinate one hairy old religious fanatic Imagine instead if we had used all of that money to build schools and hospitals around the world thus building goodwill I think goodwill trumps some dead fanatic The issue with spies is not that there is something brilliant about them It is that there is something wrong with us I couldn t disagree with this I would turn this thought on its head The issue with spies is not that there is something brilliant about them It is that there is something wrong with them Of course the Soviets East Germans and Cubans bea. The trial of Amanda Knox and the suicide of Sylvia Plath you hear directly from many of the players in these real life tragedies There'sven a theme song Janelle Monae's Hell You TalmboutSomething is very wrong Gladwell argues with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don't know And because we don't know how to talk to strangers we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound Girl in Pieces effect on our lives and our worl. I was trying to work through my thoughts on this book when Goodreads did an interview with Malcolm Gladwell and this one thing he said just madeverything clear for me I ve never been a writer who s looked to persuade his readers I m interested in capturing their interest and curiosity Because truthfully I don t know that Gladwell did fully convince me of his way of thinking with this book I don t know that I actually agree that he can draw a link between the police officer misunderstanding Sandra Bland and Neville Chamberlain misunderstanding Hitler and make that work And I don t know that I agree actually no I m pretty sure I don t about the way he views the Stanford rape case as a misunderstandingBut still I couldn t look away from this book It s the first book I ve read by Gladwell and I can see now why he has become something of a pop nonfiction writer because he definitely knows how to capture your attention It s got some psychology a bit of anthropology a touch of politics a dash of Battleground Chicago: The Police and the 1968 Democratic National Convention espionage what s not to likeI found it absolutely fascinating and horrifying when he shows how a blind machine can correctly judge the character and bail risk of criminals than human judges and trained lawnforcement I really njoyed learning about the way we characterize and judge facial xpressions and how this is both misleading AND differs across cultures so not only do we often incorrectly judge those in our own society and culture but we ve got no chance when faced with someone from a different country You Bridging Liberalism and Multiculturalism in American Education ever been to a foreign country and thought people were looking at you weird Turns out their face might just be in neutral or they reven being friendlyHe backs things up with respectable studies and acknowledges limitations when appropriate which I liked I do think he umbrellas a lot of very different xamples under the Talking to Strangers label and not all of them seem realistically linked to me But they are interesting nevertheless We think we can asily see into the hearts of others based on the flimsiest of clues We jump at the chance to judge strangers We would never do that to ourselves of course We are nuanced and complex and Cruise Control enigmatic But the stranger isasyIf I can convince you of one thing in this book let it be this Strangers are not asy In the nd though he brings all this information all these studies and City Limits examples together to leave us with an idea that is nothing new but that I think we are all too uick to forget people are complex than they first appear Don t judge a book by its cover if you will Some people are assholes others are just socially challenged me Some people are guilty others just get that shifty look when walking through the metal detectors at the airport also meI can t deny that I now want to read all his other booksIn Gladwell s defense he spoke with a number of sensitivity readers for this chapter and he discusses it in far depth than I ve given the impression of He goes out of his way to stress that he isn t makingxcuses for the culprit but is mostly critical of blackout drinking culture and how this makes an understanding of consent impossibleBlog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Never Trust a Blood Relative Talking to Strangers is an laboration of a simple trivial idea It s very difficult to tell when people are lying According to Timothy Levine the academic psychologist on whom Gladwell relies for his basic argument the presumption that people tell the truth is almost universal a few Holy Fools and I suppose Judge Judy xcepted Levine calls this his Truth Default Theory Gladwell applies it ntertainingly if rather repetitively to cases of duplicity ranging from double agents in government agencies to international financial fraudThe interesting part of Gladwell s thesis is that we can t be trained out of our predisposition to believe what credible people that is folk who xhibit facial traits and body language which conform to cultural conventions have to say Police judges regulatory officials Culture and Enchantment even counterspionage xperts have ually poor records for detecting falsehood compared to the rest of us it also works the other way round truth telling appears as lying if accompanied by mis matched behavioural signals We are genetically programmed to be dupes I suspect sex as the D DAY Through German Eyes 2 evolutionary motive And there is no reliable technology that does any better The implication for me is that the anyone is familiar withxpected conventional behavioural responses and can perform these as needed the credible they will be Not a terribly innovative conclusion admittedly but it does suggest that Gladwell has the wrong Baroque Personae end of the authenticity stick We may have to worry about strangers being honest but the real danger is the mendacity of those closest to us those who know what we find credible namely intimate family members not strangersThere s another issue as well It s clear that most 0f us lie to ourselves from time to time that is we conveniently and selectively recallvents which confirm our self rationalising narratives We cannot observe our own physical behaviour to determine the xtent of mismatch Nor would it make any difference if
we could since we may actually believe our own press as it were I know academics and business people who could since we may actually believe our own press as it were I know academics and business people who this way as a matter of routine It s part of their strategy for success They speak and write with total conviction about things they really know nothing about One of these may be the president of the United States Who knows perhaps ven Gladwell is amongst these Did the Greeks Believe in Their Myths? experts at self delusion and is simply scamming the rest of us with complete sincerityOr am I merely projecting a sort of cynicism about Gladwell s slick rapportage Possibly But he does seem to have a somewhat murky past as a defender of several dodgy industries like tobacco and pharmaceuticals See Presumably he was uite handy at spinning credible publicity out of otherwise damaging facts Transparency Gladwell says is a myth an idea we ve picked up from watching too much television and reading too many novels One wonders to what degree his book might be an instance of the phenomenon he is describingOh and as an aside the attribution of the death of a black student in the custody of a Texas jail to anscalating miscommunication between strangers verges on the obscene His use of this xample to book nd his narrative and his references to it as a recurring theme suggest some serious judgmental deficiencies I don t feel myself defaulting to truth or "GLADWELL S PURPORTED TRUTH IN THE LEASTPOSTSCRIPT 18SEPT19 IT "s purported truth
"in the leastPostscript 18Sept19 it that Gladwell s bubble is bursting Malcolm Gladwell is viewed "the leastPostscript 18Sept19 it that Gladwell s bubble is bursting Malcolm Gladwell is viewed a hugely influential writer and I was Codependent Forevermore: The Invention of Self in a Twelve Step Group eagerly anticipating reading this my first taste of his work a body of his thinking on how we the people arextraordinarily gullible when it comes to strangers all too Conscience and Memory: Meditations in a Museum of the Holocaust easily taken in by them in our generalagerness to trust rather than be cautious He gives a raft of well known Conscience and Memory examples from history such as Neville Chamberlain being all to willing to take Hitler at face value and recent contemporaryxamples such as the runaway success of Bernie Madoff s fraudulent ponzi scheme until it all fell apart interspersed with interviews with prominent personalities It turns out that overall I was doomed to be disappo I DNF d this book after reading too many cringey statements from Gladwell He wants to categorize a whole range of Pansy Vol. 6 evils from the victimization of unarmed black people Sandra Bland to women being raped at colleges parties Brock Turner as mere communication issues between people Sure there might be somelement of miscommunication but it completely misses the point that there are much larger problems and bigger things going on beyond that I get that he s trying to cram these situations into his premise in order to write this book but the result is completely tone deaf and helps to justify crimes and ignorance Instead of Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes and Other Forgotten Foods encouraging people to beducated on things the don t understand like consent or why prejudice against black people can lead to Elizabeth I excessive force against them Gladwell chalks it up to communication barriersTo be clear Gladwell doesn t try to say that Bland was at fault for her death but rather that the officer didn t properly descalate However he also takes time to Education in a New Society explain why race had nothing to do with the situation Forxample he ignores the mountain of Education in a New Society: Renewing the Sociology of Education evidence that shows that black people are routinely pulled over freuently Instead Gladwellxplicitly states that the officer s decision was not race motivated However he reaches this conclusion based on nothing His sole support for that statement is the statistic that shows this officer often wrote tickets to the tune of 1557 just that year but it s a meaningless number that doesn t prove anything if we don t know if those tickets were venly or fairly distributed There s also the uestion of whether this book states anything new The idea that black people are treated xactly the same as The Baby Swap Miracle everyonelse and racism is a myth or that women who drink are partially to blame for being raped are two xtremely old arguments There s nothing new or interesting about it It s old tired and not worth anyone s time There s also uestionable logical leaps that Gladwell makes to put forth his antiuated arguments Mystifyingly a survey showing that people have different ideas on what constitutes conse. Malcolm Gladwell host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers offers a powerful xamination of our interactions with strangers and why they often go wrongHow did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to ach other that isn't trueWhile .
Nt leads him to the conclusion that there are no rules when it comes to consent Umm what So if I took a survey that showed that most people don t know where the Ukraine is located does that mean the Ukraine has no location or does it mean that people are ignorant Gladwell s tortured logic for the sake of justifying rape is mind boggling Skip this awful intellectually vapid book I always feel lucky when I get to read a book before its official publication date A fascinating accessible xamination of the miscommunications that can arise when we talk to strangers We re going to interview Malcolm Gladwell for the Happier podcast can t wait for that As I sat at the airport head deep in a book I suddenly heard Hi What To my left stood a handsome man I just thought I should say hi since I see you re reading Talking to Strangers I too thought Malcolm Gladwell s new book was going to teach me how to literally talk with people I don t know but as always he turns all my assumptions on their head with this book If that s what the book was about that stranger and I might be on a date by now If I can convince you of one thing in this book let it be this Strangers are not asy We think we can asily see into the hearts of others based on the flimsiest of cluesAt the 2019 book conference BookExpo America Malcolm pointed out that the problems Excommunication: Three Inquiries in Media and Mediation exemplified by the death of Sandra Bland a black woman arrested by a white policeman areverywhere not just in the darkest areas of America It lies not only with these individuals but within Gender Justice each of us In his book he takes huge scandals and who doesn t love to read about a scandal reaches deep inside like you would your skinniest jeans and then pulls them inside out Except that when he does this you suddenly realize your jeans had actually been inside out before It is mind bending which means that you have to follow along to at least page 54 before you start to understand where Malcolm is going You willither find this too convoluted to keep going at some point or you will read it all in one sitting as I did flying from NY to CA My one frustration with this book is that at the very Generations and Collective Memory end Malcolm spends only 2 pages 2 saying what we should do about all he just taught us After speeding through the book that feels like an abrupt stop On the other hand I can t stop thinking about what he reveals along the way I can t unsee what he has shown me and now my framework of looking at the world is different And isn t that the mission of any good bookSPOILER ALERT For those of you who don t keep reading the book here are my key insights But to really understand what Malcolm argues happened in cases like Fidel Castro s fooling of the CIA the deceptions of Bernie Madoff the trial of Amanda Knox the suicide of Sylvia Plath the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal and the death of Sandra Bland you need to read the whole book 1 THE DEFAULT TO TRUTH PROBLEM We do not behave in other words like sober minded scientists slowing gatheringvidence of the truth or falsity of something before reaching a conclusion We do the opposite We start by believing And we stop believing only when our doubts and misgivings rise to the point where we can no longer xplain them awayFor a very few there is no high threshold before doubts turn into disbelief dishonesty and stupidity is verywhere In Russian folklore this archetype is called yurodivy the Holy Fool We should be strategically inserting these people where our society has a blind From Notes to Narrative eye to be whistle blowers however we don t want these to blanket their judgement onveryone While we think we want our guardians to be alert to Guitar Makers: The Endurance of Artisanal Values in North America every suspicion that is actually key to where the police officer so tragically failed Sandra Bland It wasn t that he didn t do what he was trained to do but that he didxactly what he was trained to do He was taught to blanket perfectly innocent people with suspicion in case of the rare instance of a criminal This kind of thinking leads to the distrust we see between police and the community today To assume the best of another is the trait that has created modern society Those occasions when our trusting nature is violated are tragic But the alternative to abandon trust as a defense against predation and deception is worse2 THE TRANSPARENCY PROBLEM Transparency is a myth How people are feeling inside often does NOT perfectly match how they appear on the outside which means we are misjudging other s intentions This doesn t matter as much with close friends where you understand what their idiosyncratic God's Choice: The Total World of a Fundamentalist Christian School expressions mean I had a friend who would often abruptly get up and leave Other people would think she was very angry at something someone had said but I saw nothing wrong because I could tell she wasn t angry at all When we are confronted with a stranger we have to substitute an idea a stereotype for directxperience And that stereotype is wrong all too often However while this strategy for dealing with strangers is deeply flawed it is also socially necessary The reuirement of humanity means that we have to tolerate an Hard Bread (Phoenix Poets (Paper)) enormous amount ofrror That is the paradox of talking to strangers We need to talk to them But we re terrible at it we re not always honest with ach other about just how terrible at it we
*are3 the mismatch *THE MISMATCH We are bad lie detectors in those situations when the person we re judging is mismatched A mismatch is where someone s level of truthfulness does NOT correspond with the way they look I think someone is honest based on how they look and act but in actuality they are lying and I can t tell the difference Malcolm dissects the case of Brock Turner where because these two strangers were blind drunk myopia removed the highest order constraint on their behavior Myopia makes it hard to consider the long term conseuences so a sexually aggressive teenager s impulses are no longer kept in check by an understanding of how inappropriate those behaviors are and the long term risks of those behaviors Combine that with mismatching and transparency problems and it s a disaster If you want people to be themselves in a social ncounter with a stranger to represent their own desires honestly and clearly then they can t be blind drunk 4 THE COUPLING PHENOMENON The first set of mistakes we make with strangers have to do with our inability to make sense of the stranger as an individual But there s a second category of rror that has to do with our inability to appreciate the context in which the stranger operates Coupling is the idea that behaviors are linked to very specific circumstances and conditionsFor instance both crime and suicides are coupled tied to very specific places and contexts Outside of those places and contexts the rate of both go down drastically That means when you confront the stranger you have to ask yourself where and when you re confronting the stranger because those two things powerfully influence your interpretation of who the stranger isSO WHAT SHOULD WE DO We could start by no longer penalizing ach other for defaulting to truth We should also accept the limits of our ability to decipher strangers But far important than a little grace and humility over what we cannot do we should be clear about what we can do There are clues to making sense of the stranger But attending to them reuires humility and thoughtfulness and a willingness to look beyond the stranger and take time and place and context into account Malcolm Gladwell was motivated by a need to understand the truth of what happened with Sandra Bland and other recent scandals His conclusion is that the truth is not some hard and shiny object that can be Foraging for Survival extracted if only we dig deepnough and look hard Fragments enough The thing we want to learn about a stranger is fragile just by stressing someone out you can affect their memory of what happened We need to accept that the search to understand a stranger has real limits We will never know the whole truth We have to be satisfied with something short of that The right way to talk to strangers is with caution and humilityBecause we do not know how to talk to strangers what do we do when things go awry with strangers We blame the strangerMy honest review was made possible by an Advanced Reader Copy from Book Expo America TW detailed descriptions of rape and pedophiliaIf it were possible to give a book negative stars this would be a 10 for meMalcolm Gladwell is incredibly influential From books to podcasts to TED talks he seems to beverywhere and his story based
approach reaches a large number of people who don t uestionreaches a large number of people who don t uestion credentials as a journalist with no scientific training who writes about science I Foundations of Tropical Forest Biology: Classic Papers with Commentaries enjoyed Blink and Outliers despite the often dodgy claims Gladwell makes based on studies that are small poorly designed andor not replicable The man does know how to create anngaging narrative and create aha moments that xcite the reader And after all he admits he isn t a scientist but instead a storyteller who uses research to augment the stories who places the stories in the lead and the science in a supporting role rather than the other way aroundOkay I hear you shrugging So what Well in Talking to Strangers Gladwell brings his folksy approach and tendency to present his opinions as truth to a painful and horrifying subject sexual abuse The book xplores our inability to tell when people are lying. Ackling these uestions Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page He was also producing for the ar In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers you'll hear the voices of people he interviewed scientists criminologists military psychologists Court transcripts are brought to life with re nactments You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff.