When you question everything you think you know

Once in a while, something comes along that can make you think deeply about everything you have held to be true.  This is not one of those times, but it does support a lot of things I’ve believed to be true, even though I was in the minority in thinking so. So, there is a similar elation to being vindicated.

Warning: You’re going to have to watch an 18-minute video to put this in context.

You may already know Malcolm Gladwell.  He’s an interesting guy, and he makes his points by telling good narratives, which makes him a great teacher.

In this one video, he addresses several things people in higher education, and, to a lesser extent, society in general tend to debate:

  • The choice of “big fish, small pond” vs. “small fish, big pond.”
  • The wisdom of admissions officers trying to figure out how much of a break to give to a kid from a “good school.”
  • The self-image people develop based on their surroundings, in the context of “Relative Deprivation Theory.  (This also may explain why students write about community service as such a profound experience.)
  • Why firms that hire only from the “best schools” are probably making a huge mistake.

Watch, and prepare to get astonished.


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