…d this kind of erroneous thinking (anecdotally) true of many humanities and liberal arts graduates. In fact I see the inconsistencies that Gladwell failed to understand (giving him the benefit of the doubt that these were unintentional) in the writings of many authors of articles in supposedly elite publications like The New Yorker and The Atlantic. Again this is not a statistically valid conclusion but the impression across hundreds or thousands of examples of one person. When I do occasionally read articles from these publications, I make a sport of judging the quality of thinking of the writers as I read, based on false arguments, unsupported conclusions, confusion of story telling with factual assertions, mistaking quotes from interviews as facts, misinterpreting statistics, etc. Similar lack of cogent thinking leads to bad decisions, uninformed rhetoric, and lack of critical thinking around topics like nuclear power and GMOs.
This is a terrible argument. It would be like me saying that I’ve found that the fresh-out-of-school engineering major, who had not done any graduate work in the field, mistook torque for tension, or hardness and ductility of a material in a report.
Writers for media publications are not experts in any liberal arts, the same way that undergrads from an engineering program are not experts in theirs. This anecdotal argument doesn’t prove anything. The analogy is poor.