Sunday, July 19, 2009

Well, a debate... Gladwell vs. Kingwell

Here's a link to a debate became Malcolm Gladwell, the author of Blink, and Mark Kingwell from UofT.  Maybe some of you have had Kingwell as a Prof?  What was he like?

The debate centres around how to best deal with tackling societies problems, a rather broad topic.  Gladwell attacking awareness raising programs vis-a-vis concrete action, supporting the latter as a much more effective method of tackling problems while Kingwell suggests that the root of the problem is... well just listen and find out.  The debate gets heated by Canadian standards and its great to hear two great minds politely clash.  Enjoy and feedback is welcome.


  1. I watched it again after you posted it. When Gladwell's talking i'm always like...hmmm yeah he's onto something. Then Kingwell opens his mouth and just totally destroys his arguments. I think one of the best things he said was his response to what Gladwell had said about making gay rights a technical issue about tolerance. Kingwell's response was "you cant do that unless you have the connection to other people as worthy of the respect that is a part of that diverse can't make a rights claim without there being some sense that you invest the other person with rights to assert."
    I think the bottom line of their arguments was best described as Gladwell being satisfied with "social tinkering" and Kingwell wanting genuine social change, which requires a shift in consciousness rather than social manipulation.

  2. Simply put, I would say I ideologically agree with Kingwell, while I support Gladwell on a functional level. Gladwell looks at real world results, Kingwell is looking at the underlying thought process, both are good, which is perhaps why this debate is so interesting.