Being Malcolm Gladwell

With my own attempts to learn Latin, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about deliberate practice and the value of grit. So, Freakonomics Radio’s focus on productivity this month is certain a welcome coincidence.

The last ‘real’ episode was all about the ten thousand rule made popular in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. (Summary: you probably misunderstood it.) And the value of deliberate practice — defined as practice that is not simply going through the motions, but instead is focused on improving specific elements of your overall goal — as opposed to simply doing something.

(Parenthentical explanation: me reading and re-reading the few Latin texts written for my limited vocabulary is just practice, focusing on noun endings and matching adjectives to nouns, even though it’s much more boring, is deliberate practice. I think.)

Today, I just wanted to share a really great, barely edited podcast in which Freakonomics host Stephen Dubner talks to Malcolm Gladwell. Like I said, the episode before it was ‘meatier,’ if this is a topic that’s interesting to you, but I just really enjoyed the feeling of listening to two well-informed people talk about something I found interesting.

Go have a listen.

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