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David and Goliath" author Malcolm Gladwell on dyslexia as 'helpful adversity' The Daily Show

Malcolm Gladwell explains the concept of "desirable difficulties."

Via Lou Salza, Lynnette Van Dyke
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Lou Salza's curator insight, October 25, 2013 12:02 PM

Watch this clip to get Gladwell's take on dyslexia as an  advantage he calls a  "helpful adversity" in contrast to an "undiserable difficulty".  An over simplification to be sure--but at the same time a useful way to understand how adults who have succeeded with dyslexia may view the journey.

While I like the positive conversation in regard to dyslexia on a national venue like Jon Stewart's Daily Show, I hasten to add that the concept of dyslexia as a 'helpful adversity' only works in hindsight and only with individuals who are successful adults who did not get crushed in school. Getting crushed in school is a function of many things: the family you were born into, access to resources and personality among other things. Stewart makes a telling comment in the form of a joke in the conversation after Gladwell mentions four extremely successful and well known dyslexics. He says "are there only four--because that wouldn't be so good!"
Well let's do the research and the math. Fact is there may be relatively few who survive the journey. We can look at the incarcerated population for the flip side of this conversation and also take into account the work being done by the Shaywitz group to reach out to minority communities who historically are under identified.


The story of David and Goliath has always impressed me. I keep 5 smooth stones on a shelf in my office to remind me of the story and importance of having clear goals and acceptance of the tools and the resources available to us to overcome adversity.

--Lou

david mendlewski's curator insight, October 27, 2013 9:03 PM

Slay the giants underdogs!  Desirable difficulties help us to grow, evolve and accomplish what others thought we could not. I Cannot wait to read this book.  Gladwell does a great TED talk on this book as well. 

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