Five reasons why Malcolm Gladwell is a super-genius with world domination ambitions

Five reasons why Malcolm Gladwell is a super-genius with world domination ambitions
And he’s popular with ladies (Image: Lindsay Smith)

By now, everyone—yes, everyone—is familiar with either Malcolm Gladwell or his well-marketed ways of connecting disparate dots to create zany, counterintuitive conclusions. He’s received some press recently to coincide with an upcoming F5 Expo speech in Vancouver (Canadian media tends to go gaga when our high-profilers come back). Combing through it, we came to a counterintuitive conclusion of our own. Once we connected the seemingly random factors embedded in his interviews with the Globe and Mail and Canadian Business, we realized that Gladwell is a super-genius, albeit it a patriotic one, bent on world domination.


1. He uses a Blackberry Gladwell will need a place from which to launch his nefarious plans, and Waterloo fits the bill. Sucking up to Ontario’s dinky digital dominion, Gladwell tells the Globe, “I have a Blackberry, like any good Canadian. I’m from Waterloo—how can I not have a Blackberry?” Makes sense. Also, using an iPhone would be counter-productive since he’d be contributing to Steve Jobs’s competing quest for world domination.

2. He concerns himself only with social media that will help him acquire brains Gladwell tells the Globe that the reasons he doesn’t use Twitter are a) he’s too busy, and b) if he were always sending out dispatches of uncanny cleverness, people would tire of him. “If you follow me on Twitter, I do not own your heart. I may own your pocketbook momentarily. And I may own your attention for five seconds, but that’s it.”  So, what do you own if we, like everyone else in the world, read your books?

3. Twitter won’t stop him Gladwell admits to the Globe that although he doesn’t use the service, he knows it won’t stop him: “If I want to start a political movement to overthrow a tyrannical regime, it may be less useful.”

4. He has superpowers Gladwell’s plans would only be slightly scary if it weren’t for his apparent ability to be in many places at once. He lets slip the secret of his powers, telling Canadian Business, “I like to move around when I work. I’ll stop by my office, maybe, or I’ll go to the library, or I’ll sit in a café, or maybe I’ll do all three” (emphasis added).

5. He doesn’t like to be recognized This may seem counterintuitive for anyone bent on world domination, but counterintuitiveness is Gladwell’s bread and butter. If he receives too much attention, people might see his tyrannical gambit coming. “That’s the one part of my success that I’m indifferent—even more than that—that I’m unhappy with. I don’t like the idea of being a recognizable figure,” he tells Canadian Business. With that hair? Good luck.

Malcolm Gladwell: the quiet Canadian [Globe and Mail] • The Performer: Malcolm Gladwell [Canadian Business]


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