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BONUS: Malcolm Gladwell

2020-06-19
BONUS EPISODE! Malcolm Gladwell joins the Armchair Expert to talk about the upcoming season of The Revisionist History podcast.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome. Welcome, welcome to a bonus episode of armchair expert, I'm joined by Monica Patman, always high. We amalgam Gladwell here herself lack in the only reason we have a mere is to help em promote his podcast revision is history season. Five. Now we dont benefit in any way from this. Now that we have no professional ties to Malcolm we wish we did, we wish we did. We just love him and we love his pockets, so we said yeah low. Aren't you come on tell us about what season five has to offer, but of course it spends into other topics, as is prone to happen with Malcolm there are ten new episodes dropping every Thursday starting June eighteenth?
please enjoy this bonus exchange with Monica Malcolm and I he's so Malcolm is the first. We ve ever done this, I was trying to aid for thinking of an analogy and would be kind of like if we put the Ford Mustang on display Jeems big ocean. and we ve never promoted a competitor, but some for some reason? We're really excited to do that start now, strong on car, on a prime, the palm oil little automotive? We hardly call you had a very your way. You know that ain't, a lingering ridder yet we're not those were colleagues hark. Competitors are lesser. Media forms like you, don't worry it television reading books. these kinds of things
wow. So I'm going to be able to refer to you as one of my peers when I yeah yeah, you just gave me Carte blanche to talk about my peer mountain, but you have a new season of revisionist history coming out what what number is this season? Five? No, some of the These questions at the boy you here over there lie dipshit you like this, like it should have done a little research before we talk just that training is bad. I gotta say this is a great thing for me to do, because I am not obliged actually know anything goes only. You know what the new season is in your producers. Yes, although with that said, I did listen to episodes wanted to last night, which of course I fucking loved your show is so So is the big MAC man. It is. I know what I'm gonna get mugged it every time, and I love it. It's the original Mcdonald, french fry. we in their back to your wish, my mind is: is just really with the big MAC. I've never been called the big MAC before this fantastic. This is like the highest browser ever heard. How
Are you know me I like to let people behind the curtain? So after I interviewed you, we discovered that we both have the mutual friend of like Bell and then so. I started kind of sending her text about you. I hope it got back to you all. A mine focused, and how mischievous your eyes are, and I feel a little robbed in the zoom to de experience that I'm not getting the full provocative, mysterious dangerous eyes were dumb dangerous. They just seems like a stretch. Myself is fundamentally harmless, which is why the more home though you are the more you can get away with. I'm canadian, my Father in law sent me attacks yesterday had said: do you think that it's just occurred to Canada that they run it an apartment above a math lab at this season? Is? Will you listen to the two shows about hoarding? Yes, yes,
and about art, museum syllabuses, I'll say Zaka, weird wacky moments, one of my favorite shows is where back. I interviewed all of my past assistance, oh boy, because want to know how did I hire the exact number? How did I hire them? Why They are them? Did it turn and its, a rare case of be engaging in some self examination. What I discovered is it my hiring practices are ludicrous, I mean, and is the word barely interviewed them. Ass stupid questions, the hope was, I'm defending my approach. Tire. Of course you are what I refer to as the nihilist position on hiring, which is we're fooling ourselves. If we think we can make good predictions about where the sums gonna work out by, on the basis of like a forty, I've or an hour and a half. So why bother? Just like? I hire the first person who walks in the door we essentially what I've done and as
almost always worked, obviously, no other pattern, Amer urged like where they all inordinately tall or shore or ain't no, no patterns. It's funny admission, who's gonna do a different episode. I was gonna talk about how I am obsessed with voices and if someone has a good voice, I'm Second, it doesnt matter on care. What else is the case if I hear a really great voice, I was realizing when I went back and interviewed all my other systems is that they all do have fantastic voices in fact, two of them who I know your lot on the show. What is jewish broken South Africa moved TAT. Sidney, and then american awhile, and then the other woman was also jewish from North London. The two of them their voices and also the express themselves- and this really fantastic way- is during childhood. Comfort in the fact that your dad at an English accent- I don't know, I'm all
been here you mentioned like bow. The lake has got an eight plus voice, oh, you did all has everyone's I'm so self. Conscious about ass. Now three years is thriving. We have metrics, you had your own show and it was you I think on. Despite of lace, know how I am curious about the criteria of Monaco to say gives great voice say, you're, not now, Do you not, I meant to say, selling Thou lakes in a category by yourself, ok was use. Imploid is a voice actor regularly, so it makes sense that it I dont go into this in the absurd, but I was thinking about this. As aside think It's so weird the your voices Linley something you have almost no controller. You have control over the word choice you use and you can
try and clean up your voice. But fundamentally, the tone of your voice is something it's pure God, given it is bought that I would say that the cadences, the fingerprint right, that's why I'm so drawn to your speech. It's not the tenor of your voice. It's your unique rhythm, your musicality. That is that it is very specific. No Monica it is. We just concluded its a faggot two to one, but that's actually not what the episode is about. This is my case for nihilism, and it's called Hammett was right after one of my favorite, brilliant intellectual Albert O Hersman, who was this incredible figure key the Nazis and over two and then he goes back any rescues. All these Jews he's had one of those magical, James Bond lives, and he also happens to be the towering intellectual who was Freud's cousin and he had to saying that Hamlet was wrong, meaning
hammer couldn't make up his mind to be or not to be used like what should I do, what they do and Hersman, It was not knowing what's happening, shouldn't freeze you, it should do the opposite. Should free you, because once you realize you have no understanding what happens next, you not in control of your own future. Then you can do whatever you want was always doing these crazy things. Like one point in the fifties, he takes his family, maybe they just all move heading two Bolivia or the wilds of somewhere in South America, and he was Why not? Why? Wouldn't I take my two year old to some tiny town. because I don't know, what's going to happen, to freeze me up to do crazy. Things makes you not culpable and any decision basically right like if you make right turn. Yet another is a cliff on the other side. There's nothing really feel guilty about. There's some liberation in your ignorance, this staff, but your phrasing it in a kind of negative way. I was highly active way, which is it
every options open to you once you realize you can predict the future and its only our desire to try and predict the future that ends up limiting our choices. Like think about you, ve just graduate from coal. judge and your deciding. Where should I move too well? Most of us make very, very safe choices, because if we say well, I wouldn't want to move to Tokyo cause. I don't know anyone in Tokyo, and I predict having to be miserable and sit in my apartment on what basis do make a prediction drew snuff since you ve, no idea, what's gonna happen to Tokyo, so wanted just move to Tokyo, good Janshah right in a circle? No, no, now so back to back episodes one into about our assent Lee and are there more about are in this next block? Note you and I seem to have a similar relationship with our equally impressed and perplexed by the market.
Look, I didn't recognize them genius, but in Another- and I dont know, some of the other stuff isn't so obvious. To me in is maybe the whole thing on the stock market. We all agreed that these have value in a very cynical of it and I am also very treat buy. It now mean that I also don't understand museums. Could it strikes me. Since the thing I was trying to explore in those two pieces of making these pieces out really boring. No? No, no, no, no, no, no, no The minute you mention the Word art museum people fall asleep or have happened. I was interested in. Is this weird fact it they have so much stuff and they walk. rid of it, the other, the worst kind of water? once you realize that ninety five percent of the art that the match Paul Museum of ART in New York has is in storage in New Jersey,
and will never see the light of day. Ninety five percent, it's weird, I would have thought the function of a museum- was to show her to the world, but in fact that's not their function. Their function is there like those self storage units that you drive by on the highway only like high and millions of dollars estate at that, their spending. An enormous amount of the resources are, is simply storing all stop which will never shut anybody and they keep acquiring more and more more. They are classic quarters. Yes, and so I was shocked in that episode to hear your tag in someone else's that hoarding. I would have thought it was connected OECD. I would have thought it was an attempt to come. Roll and satiate your anxiety by you know a finding that ends keeping it safe, but that your explanation of it, I that your guess explanation. It was much more positive it was like somewhere with, actually that we should give it away
I ride over a big part of the episode, the take away of why people hoard, but it was very beautiful. I thought, but this notion that I think I can say that some people enjoy an object. More than other people that I guess that, crossed my mind, even though, of course, I enjoy cars in a way that is clear, other people down that somehow, yet they get a real time enjoyment out of them just looking at them. been with them. Will this is the thesis guy ready, frost right? I don't wanna, give it all away, but he did not want Europe see right, he's someone who spent his entire life working with orders- and I kept asking him for his attitude towards the people. He was with, and it was a genuine affection and he said I have come to love them and what he loves is their ability to see beauty in the ordinary. The most interesting thing he says, though, is it all about
memory that you and I would have us- is a handful of objects which, like a photo of you, know I've a photo of me and my dad I was very young which, when I look at it all his memories, flood doc about my dad there a limited number of objects, though, in my life that have that kind of power and his point, but an order is that every object in their life has had power. He told me the story about. I tell it enough show about working with this woman and she won't throughout an atm received from six years ago, because it conjures up that day and that was a lovely day in her life and she thinks if she loses the ATM risk she loses the memory so her memory is encased in objects and that's weird and interesting, and it's not bad. Also, it's not a pathology is just a different way. Their brain, this word yeah yeah, does is to be a path algae until, like the show that I've watched you can't walk in the house and it's a fire hazard, I mean
I want that veers into Yossi need. Make sure like financial but at its core is something quite beautiful that has the potential to screw up your life because it gets out of control, yeah and so one of the interesting things it starts with just the revelation that their assets aren't really listed on their financial and then you actually kind of talk about what the theoretical value would be. Of the Metropolitan Museum in the billions right I mean billions of dollars in the hundreds of billions yeah. I beg the question when I heard that, then how do they ensure that is that stuff insured or they can ensure rights such request? You unite, our brains are wired in similar ways. I started talking only about affected ASEAN stone on their bound chief list. Their collection is asses, didn't enumerate, but they have a my frustration, exactly. That was how on earth do ensure it so the king always done this in the show, but I
calling those insurance guys and saying if on the matter, have a hundred billion dollars roughly of art, and I was used to put it on my bounce, so refused like value Who ensure that and how many answers they dont really ensure? They re by a blanket coverage. If you think about it. A great dereliction of responsibility at the met burns down tomorrow, no one's mailing, you a check for fifty billion dollars and next day and then the other question it led do for me as good a collection like this ever be assembled again, as is almost a thing from the past like when you think of the value of those and what the income of a museum is through grants and everything else, Could anyone build the collection like that? In the future I mean. How did you know you seated in allay? You have Eli light Super rich guy devotes thirty years of his life in huge amounts of money to more than fifty years of his life to buying art opens his own art museum, so
can happen, but you're right is, it gets harder and harder and harder, as time goes on, what happens? Is the existing institutions get all the good stuff when people die they donated, which is weird, because Typically, if I'm a rich guy- and I have fifty day were paintings that I I, and I will them too much bomb. Is you have our lackman allay it? Most of us just gonna go straight into storage, so thick it's weird, it's like. Why did which people give our to museums if the museums can stick em in storage facilities in New Jersey I mean is that the whole thing makes no sense to me whatsoever there, guess I was sorry this one guy, you said you know when you realise that more started and storage. Begin to wonder. So what museums, take status and storage and put it on the walls of schools. Jar that there should be no. City Hall and a country that doesn't have a bunch of nice paintings and a well now or those at risk for being dead. MR stolen sure, but, like you, keep That's who tyres? Who cares like
the whole point of order. I was taught you. This fundamentalism are photographer Works well for a lot of money, and I was asking him how much of the start that you have sold over the course of your long career is publicly available to be seen a tiny in almost all of it is locked away said wait you what's the point you are holding on the secret of some sort like it's almost like the exclusivity of it told. Yeah stay to arm chair there we are supported by Billy Self care in routine are all these important, whatever you're using to get ready for the day, should make you feel amazing. Meet Billy. They ve created everyday essentials by delivering premium, razors and high performing body care directly to you, gotta my belly dot.
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washed acts spelled my b, I l L, I e dotcom slashed X y, just learned of London belly in the art world, your priority familiar with it, but I guess some criminals in Europe, steel, these really famous paintings, not to sell, because they're they're almost valueless like five cents on the dollar. You can sound to another criminal empire, but in general they do it as an insurance policy that, if they need leverage in negotiating some kind of conviction that that allows criminals. Keep these as leverage and as I would have fast aiding. Oh you mean, if I'm arrested, I say, I know where the Van Gogh is exaggerated me reduce sense exactly where we doing what they call my mind. I might I need some leverage Zahm Real general cultural leverage. In case I find myself in a pickle
this is all over the world, and I had not thought about this- is such an interesting idea? Yeah, you could do the same thing with gas. Oh sure, Lycaena blackmail, sense, yeah, yeah yeah yeah did you watch the Epstein documentary I have not watch that tell you haven't. I have also the things I've been working, my way through the somebody's haven't, got area here behind and a few other pedophile d behind murder. I've been I've been watching the staircase that classical your crimes, how it's so good! I put away from day one I've been convinced that guy's, a hundred percent innocent Ok, how far you These far, I gotta left. Ok, this is exciting,
feel like? Maybe they don't even there? If you know you're, not gonna, let me now I'm gonna clutch at a parallel here and hopefully its days. Did you watch the jinx in? Did you find yourself kind of wanting to give Robert Durst a hug? You know recognising still that he's a criminal and you should be in jail. I found myself wanting to protect him and take care of him. yeah. I didn't. I felt this deep affinity for him for some bizarre reason. I said the Christian I don't know man, I think I'd. Let him sleep in our house still. I really think I have him over for dinner. I knew weirdly way back in the day, so he comes from his famous real estate family and one of the founders of it was, I believe, his uncle These dad and his brother were pious. Xenia Seymour. As the patriarch and I went to interview Seymour in the garden and Ninetys and he was there was used to be something called a debt clock in
Times Square, who is a running total of the catch that was Seymour and then wait I can today on the front page than your times, you could buy add space on the bottom of the front page. Seymour would bite all the time just like hold forth on how much he hated somebody or and he had the largest that would have allowed a private libraries in Amerika, and I went to his townhouse Have you ever side. He was one of these camp, Wheatley. Fascinating self may brilliant, and he was what is rich people who were to do really interesting things with his money, like the duck clock or like buying. so things in the bottom of the or buying like weird books. So when I watch the first thing I just remembered this afternoon, I want spent with Seymour yeah. While that's fascinating.
Ok, so de around out my last question about Europe phenomenal show, how do you come upon a theme for a season? Older meets its first as energy producers, Lee and there, but you know when we listen, you shall were just we're so blown away with the production value. I mean it's like watching the jinx. It's like a very, very well produce it, so perfect him. We are abundantly aware of the amount of time that is for you and your your team, its incredibly impressive It seems unless I'm wrong is that in Do more you very more more, like that's, obviously valuable time he could spend researching a or writing and I know you are really pleased with the audio book version of talking to strangers. So I just wonder is increasingly where you want your energy to go totally insane this week I became more and more about a long foreign podcast that are really audio books and I just spent the whole week me my friend Bruce with Paul son
we're doing an audio biography, music, paragraph Paul Simon, why So what did you see we're doing combustible days was he would play a song and You listen to one of his sons and then he would annotate. Oh the audio, so he would say: ok, listen to that guitar sound and he would tell you the style of the Qatar playing the person who is playing the reason. He explained that way, You know he would say that guy some Desoto he's playing a you know. A South Africa interpretation of a mess. can country guitar from the sixties, because he heard that in the radio when he was- and I heard that I said I want that and came into play that recent years, that kind of thing yeah, I know, This is why anyone want to do a book about a musician. First crazy. You wanna hear the Musician So let's do a book. Were you hear everything and the minute you hear it? It just makes
so much more sense. We can have a chapel had listened to a pulse, I'm in some cases, these depths of complexity. Now we can describe because he complaining for you. My favorite example is to remember the song come and take me to the Marty Raw by him see old, sign from the seventies. I bet if he sang at Ivory I recognise that. Are you trying to make me say: Monica ok, you're gonna do with all the collar and exclusive exclusive here's. The cost of a terrible thing, of course, is common. Take me to the ground got out at the outset of that signed out and out. I'm ok so that song there's a big falsetto part which is done by a guy named reverent cheater. Who is black Minister in home, who sang in the famous gospel quartet the
go to muzzle shows Alabama. The famous aren't be recording studio to record that song. He brings Judah with him. He ships up from New Orleans, a brass band. The onward marching ban from New Orleans and Sung itself is a calypso too. So we have a white jewish guy from Queens New York teams. within a gospel creature from Harlem, without New Orleans brass Band, to go to muzzle, shows Alabama to do a calypso song when He- scribes how all those pieces come together. It's just like men. we can all make I put a genius. I was saturate I yes today, weirdly enough. I was useless in Nepal Simon a couple weeks ago in the car and actually had the thought. Maybe you want to go near this thought, but I was like if he was coming under the scene today, doing virtually the exact same thing he had done. Would he now be accused
cultural appropriation. Absolutely I think you are right and I was like ha there's some clear intention buying what he's done, but Dick to my mind that I dont know how to be viewed the same way today you are. This is big theme of this book were right and what I want to argue about is, I think, what he's doing is a very important part of creativity. As long as it's entered he's, not stealing people's traditions, he is discovering them end reinterpreting I think that's the key when you traffic in another culture tradition, your intentions, really matter yeah what are you doing and why are you doing it and in his case I think his intentions are. I wanna make something magical anew out of all these pieces. Yams and I want to celebrate the self that I'm investigating. It also has the York he grew up in. York in the fifties and Sixtys that's what New York was. It require
in queens in nineteen? Thirty: five, when he's a teenager, this twenty different cultures all gone on a sometimes so that's his world. It's not it's incredibly authentic, too, who he is the only story he could have tall, primarily that's what he group, which is not he's not Dylan from having been so right for ass, a thing: it's only appropriation if its ham and ten other white guys doing or application. If it's this black gospel preacher- and here I mean it's like batches- bringing sounds too gather? That's not like I'm gonna and pretend to be the endless Jovi Chase plays the Black Reverend video than we have some Roger brow. I guess I'm problems, inquire about his friendship, which encourages I'd, be curious. I didn't know that Will you remember that refugees was in that video, doo doo doo, Doo, doo doo?
Do you not on anybody Mary? When you call you know now we both sang summer you're going to go to the mind who no no, no, no, no that's all I'm compounded by that. I live with a bona fide great sang yourself. You know how and I thought I was a month ago in some- never she's a really good singer. This is a big point of frustration between earn. I I'll catch you in the back seat, occasionally, unlike what in doing that, more often in lovely. Why aren't you sing? You might wanna your trade actress? What's this was the issue here, I'm just so conscious about em, there's something about singing that so vulnerable bank
Yes, maybe adult thing on preserving it is that it is the the instrument they say is some representation of their insides. I think it's circles back to what we talked about the beginning about you being infatuated with voices like you can't really fix your singing voice like it is what it is, and I like to present things that I can fix like if it's wrong, I can be better at it, but I can't be better or worse at whatever I have. Hang out with my vocal cords, so no one gets to hear it unless you want to ride in the front seat, acasia you'll have to ride for a long long time, cuz. In seven years, I've heard her sing like five times, but if you're up for that commitment, I've got a pass. to see what would you say she was thing, whiplash by Metallica her great with that people talk about it. That's like an unexpected turn. If suddenly Monica turns out to be a metallic event
I've been urging my wife to do an entire cover of kill em all by Metallica, unlike that would be the greatest. Your sweet voice with that music- it could be something it could be. A ball Simons synthesis at ten episodes. Ten episodes that got four episodes about this airforce general in a secular worker, Curtis Le May, who is responsible for one of the most sequential and controversial acts of the war. It starts out with investigation of him and he's someone who's in love with aeroplanes. Obviously, and saw a what. happens when you're kind of infatuation with technology and machines starts to cloud your judgment. Ah, but that's the heart of the seas, is really those four episodes? And then I have one about this guy who was convinced tat? We elect student councils the wrong way.
It's my favourable to the whole season. He used to Bolivia and he starts to go to high school student, wise oblivious of that several months, or he starts her eyes were, seems like you guys are choosing you student council present all wrong. You should use lottery. How can we in this parliament to set up a similar to your hiring practice as yet between those two up says a twin. Ok, I have to imagine it varies greatly, but if you had to come up with the mean average of how long it takes you to record an episode, what do you think that would be you mean report right and record or Vienna from your idea. You listen you're like great job gang sounds. Wonderful will do the ones at once, but it said I was probably part time a month in episode, but I'm doing three it three times so the whole thing take sixty six months to do ten percent, basically all while awhile chaos. I started in December while and then, as I was a moment of panic when I don't have enough, and I
I despair. I go for long walks, I'd think about Beto switching professions and then I come up with my final now the now the current two topics of the day we weren't such unique times use start up the engine of like, while how am I gonna put through Malcolm's eyes and tie it to something else. Are you interested in doing that? You feel like you can't wait to to be a part of that exploration, we'll I've written so much about police violence. Since it's been a big theme of three of my books, so I feel like I've, said you're. There have been such an outpouring of extraordinary new voices on this issue and I think I've said my peace is available. If those who want to read it an adult. I don't feel a need to wait in I'd rather here from others at this point, you know Yeah yeah I've been running about this for fifteen years and I do have an
so this show that touches on this question of on the other big issue today uncovered it's. The last episode, which is always was to be the one, is the most meaningful, it's? It's all about, how we choose to remember people who would otherwise be forgotten, I did it before covert. I went Jacksonville and I spent a lot of time talking to people who do with a homeless and Jacksonville, the whole point of doing with a homeless as you're trying to make people this. But who would otherwise be invisible and remembered? Who would otherwise be forgotten? and then I wrote the episode after the carpet thing in the world, all kinds of parallels that I was able to draw about, because this is turning into an epidemic of of the invisible and forgotten by the way I was here, if he seen the Epstein Doc, because through my lends, its not even a story of pedophilia, it's the ultimate story of income inequality. If you dont have desperation, you can't have an Epstein
yeah, and I do think that more and more as these big big issues are burgling to the top were starting to see a little connective tissue rider were starting to see some of the same root causes and I feel like we're finally starting to glance a little further up river, which I'm so excited about. Yeah, yeah, well, excited to have ten more episodes of your show. Revision is history that is not on our network and we do not profit from also ever and in fact we will lose. Many listeners to your van tassel show TAT. You wish you well, Mr Gladwell, thank you so much. You guys Mommy. I greatly value I, while going away for dissolve workers, we must drive something together. We were who will I didn't? zipping around admire. My foster spend hours you out, some american muscle because my mother.