19 October, 2020

Pop Goes The Physic For You

Gladwell does his usual mix of science, history, research and breezy talk to show how we need to know people better for the world’s good. Pity, his solutions are wafer-thin.

Pop Goes The Physic For You

We live in what’s often described as the digital age. When technology is supposed to be transforming lives and bringing people together. And perhaps it does. Yet, we still tend to see the stranger as the ‘other’, the bogeyman we must fear. So why is it that humans, despite the technology we have at our fingertips, are so bad at understanding other humans, especially those we do not know?

This is the question that Malc­olm Gladwell tackles in Talking to Strangers:  What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know. In its search for answers, the book engages with some divisive issues like race and its ties to police mis­conduct; gender and campus rape, and sexual assault of children.  

Central to the narrative is the tragic story of Sandra Bland. In July 2015, the 28-year-old Afri­can-American woman was found hanging in her jail cell after she was detained following a traffic offence. As Gladwell writes: “Tal­king to Strangers is an att­empt to understand what really happened by the side...



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