"I'm with Stupid"
As we can see, each time Gladwell has the opportunity to engage with challenging ideas he cops out. Addressing rationality, social trends or genius properly - and failing - would still leave us richer than Gladwell's approach, which is empty, cynical and trite.
But Gladwell can't do science. He can't do people. (In a recent profile he explained that he didn't have time for relationships because they got in the way of His Life's Work.) And as we noticed back here with the fiasco of the open source cookie - where he bodged the inconclusive competition to premature conclusion to fit his deadline - he can't really do journalism, either.
The man has a 6,300 word disclosure statement on his website. All it needs is: "I've got nothing to say, move along."
His enthusiasm amongst the VMB class tells us a lot about how stupid they think we are. As humans we are naturally insatiably curious and inquisitive - and demand answers. Mostly. Then there are people who read Malcolm Gladwell's books.®