November 15, 2006
Go Slow, Picasso
Even if this Malcolm Gladwell speech (PDF) was only so-so I’d probably still perfunctorily link to it. So, consider it a bonus that it’s GREAT!
In it he talks about the differences between prodigies and late bloomers in art; as his prototypes Gladwell uses Picasso and Cezanne. (If that’s too boring for you, he also compares The Eagles to Fleetwood Mac and Apple to Dell. And pharmaceutical R&D makes a cameo, too!)
It’s a transcript of a recording, not just a speech text, so it has a really nice rhythm and tone. (Actually, it appears that the transcription was underwritten by the economist who Gladwell cites heavily in the speech… pretty slick.)
Gladwell’s bottom line (which is almost beside the point in a speech as fun and discursive as this): Our culture has gone a little too wild for prodigies. We ought to make room for late bloomers again.
(Points of Note came outta nowhere with this one!)
Update: Rachel applies the Picasso/Cezanne paradigm to academic life.