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Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know

por Malcolm Gladwell

Otros autores: Ver la sección otros autores.

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In this thoughtful treatise spurred by the 2015 death of African-American academic Sandra Bland in jail after a traffic stop, New Yorker writer Gladwell (The Tipping Point) aims to figure out the strategies people use to assess strangers-to "analyze, critique them, figure out where they came from, figure out how to fix them," in other words: to understand how to balance trust and safety. He uses a variety of examples from history and recent headlines to illustrate that people size up the motivations, emotions, and trustworthiness of those they don't know both wrongly and with misplaced confidence.… (más)
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Narrated by the author.
  Salsabrarian | Nov 23, 2022 |
Malcolm Gladwell examines talking to people whose background is different than our own – with a goal of achieving better understanding. He opens the book with a recording of the Sandra Bland incident, and comes back to it at the end. Gladwell sets up a number of puzzles, using many high-profile cases, and then systematically analyzes them using data from psychological and sociological studies. He discusses the human tendency to default to truth.

Topics include answering these and similar questions:
- Analyzing people who are deliberately misleading us
- Why are we sometimes worse off after meeting someone than not meeting them?
- Why are we so poor at detecting lies?

This book highlights our tendencies to be overconfident in assigning motivations to others, while not wanting others to do the same to us. It raises awareness but does not offer much in the way of advice to individuals. Gladwell points out that law enforcement strategies effective in high crime areas have been applied to low crime areas, setting up opportunities for increasingly volatile interactions between police and citizens. I believe it is worth investigating this point further and hope it does not get lost among the entertaining case studies.

The audiobook is a compilation of the author’s narration, recreation of scenes based on court transcripts, media footage, and recordings of interviews. Gladwell likens it to a podcast. I imagine future audio recordings will increasingly utilize this type format, as it is extremely effective.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
While hard to put down and thought provoking, Gladwell skirts around major systemic issues while diving into minor issues. To me, gun control, drug decriminalization, and racial prejudice are the larger issues at play. These issues along with a focus on “productivity” are the causes for quick triggered police officers. I think Gladwell’s thesis is well intentioned but misinterpreted. ( )
  johnson6686 | Oct 26, 2022 |
Amusing anecdotes, but there is not a single conclusion here that is without problems.

Nearly every discussion revolves around radically imbalanced power relationships in which the more abusive party is let off the hook for "not knowing how to interact with strangers." Worse, Gladwell then complains of the same thing happening from the other side.

Emily Doe gets raped by Brock Turner? Both sides bear some blame; she shouldn't have had that much to drink. Graham Spanier goes to jail for Jerry Sandusky? He was railroaded because victims of abuse aren't consistent enough in their stories for him to have needed to act.

It isn't just that that is radically conservative or even a Slate article (everything you think is bad is actually OK!) in book form, it's also sloppy. There are no results to any studies that back up his own data, much less the negative things that he asserts.

Gladwell proposes that computers do better gauging criminals than judges by citing that they identified high-recidivist offenders at two times the rate of judges. And then he doesn't tell you if those high-recidivist offenders commit crime at a higher rate while on bail!

Ugh; I can't imagine a single chapter of this would have made it past David Remnick's fact checkers.

Note: Attached to that, I consider some of Gladwell's late '90s early '00s work for the New Yorker some of the most interesting reading I've ever done. Even though I've been, shall we say, skeptical of his work since [b:David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants|15751404|David and Goliath Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants|Malcolm Gladwell|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1391813567l/15751404._SX50_.jpg|21445709], it is difficult to overstate how much good will I will extend toward his books. ( )
  danieljensen | Oct 14, 2022 |
If being too trusting around strangers can get us into trouble, being too suspicious can be worse. So suggests Malcolm Gladwell in his intriguing 2019 book “Talking to Strangers.”

Gladwell uses the example of an episode of “Friends” in which, even if you turned the sound off or didn't understand English, you could understand exactly what is going on. That is because actors know how to portray guilt, suspicion, compassion, deceitfulness and so forth. The trouble is, in real life people don't always act the way we think they should act. Looks can be, and often are, deceiving. Even experienced judges, police officers and spy masters can't tell when someone is lying, for example, and Gladwell gives examples of each.

Most of us "default to truth," in the author's phrase, and this, he says, is actually a good thing. Society couldn't function very well without it. We need to trust each other, even if some people will take advantage of us.

Gladwell begins and ends his book with the case of Sandra Bland, a young black woman stopped in Texas for a minor traffic violation. She ended up in jail, where she committed suicide. The officer chose to view her suspiciously because, in his eyes, she was acting suspiciously. In truth, she was just a woman already under stress put under more stress by an officer making a lot out of very little. What should have concluded with a warning and a "have a nice day" led instead to an arrest and the death of an innocent woman.

The book might have been strengthened by more Sandra Bland-like examples and fewer examples of "default to truth" leading to trouble. If you fail to read the entire book, you could easily get the wrong idea about what the author is trying to say. As with strangers, you don't want to make snap judgments with Gladwell. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Aug 22, 2022 |
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Gladwell, MalcolmAutorautor principaltodas las edicionesconfirmado
Gladwell, MalcolmNarradorautor secundarioalgunas edicionesconfirmado
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For Graham Gladwell, 1934-2017
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In July 2015, a young African American woman named Sandra Bland drove from her hometown of Chicago to a little town an hour west of Houston, Texas.
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We start by believing. And we stop believing only when our doubts and misgivings rise to the point where we can no longer explain them away.
"Trying to get information out of someone you are sleep-depriving is sort of like trying to get a better signal out of a radio that you are smashing with a sledgehammer...."
In his book Why Torture Doesn't Work, neuroscientist Shane O'Mara writes that extended sleep deprivation "might induce some form of surface compliance"—but only at the cost of "long-term structural remodeling of the brain systems that support the very functions that the interrogator wishes to have access to."
And of every occupational category, poets have far and away the highest suicide rates—as much as five times higher than the general population.
Sherman crunched the numbers and found something that seemed hard to believe: 3.3 percent of the street segments in the city accounted for more than 50 percent of the police calls.
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In this thoughtful treatise spurred by the 2015 death of African-American academic Sandra Bland in jail after a traffic stop, New Yorker writer Gladwell (The Tipping Point) aims to figure out the strategies people use to assess strangers-to "analyze, critique them, figure out where they came from, figure out how to fix them," in other words: to understand how to balance trust and safety. He uses a variety of examples from history and recent headlines to illustrate that people size up the motivations, emotions, and trustworthiness of those they don't know both wrongly and with misplaced confidence.

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