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Social Commentary: Discussion of "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell

New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.


Gladwell introduces us to the particular personality types who are natural pollinators of new ideas and trends, the people who create the phenomenon of word of mouth. He analyzes fashion trends, smoking, children's television, direct mail, and the early days of the American Revolution for clues about making ideas infectious, and visits a religious commune, a successful high-tech company, and one of the world's greatest salesmen to show how to start and sustain social epidemics.

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  • Kelsey C.

    See you all at Park Street! They have an excellent beer selection and ample room.

    1 · August 22, 2013

  • Kelsey C.

    Our last meetup was such a great success that Becky and I decided to increase the main list size to 20. If there are more than 10 people that attend the event, we will split into 2 discussion groups to have "small group" discussion then a larger group discussion afterwards. Can't wait to see you all again, and to welcome new members!

    2 · July 30, 2013

20 went

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