HomeThoughts and MusingsThoughtful Thursday: Malcom Gladwell Quotes and Genealogy

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Thoughtful Thursday: Malcom Gladwell Quotes and Genealogy — 2 Comments

  1. Holy Dickie Marcinko!!!! Mr. Red Cell himself could have told them that. I wonder if Van Ripper has been reading the Marcinko books. Now applying that kind of out of the box thinking to genealogy will be a lot trickier than defeating the Blue Dimes with PMS (pun intended) By the way, in my humble opinion, this kind of thinking is what is causing us to loose the war on terror! I have not read Malcolm Gladwell before. For some reason, I thought I would not like his writings. I will have to reconsider – but not till after I read a couple of other must read before June 8 books.

    It seems to me that the GPS and BCG standards are a lot like the DIME & PMESI processes. But before you can really get outside the box, you have to know what is inside it – not become a slave to it but no matter what you confront in your “research” you will always have other ways of thinking to get around the brink walls. By studying genealogy as currently taught, we will learn exactly how those two areas work and how they do not work and find the best strategies that we need to apply to our research.

    It is past 3 AM and I have yet to see anything except sheep – no dreams in sight, so if this does not make sense, I apologize.

    Plus your Tolkien quote also seems to apply here as well.

  2. Hi Jackie –

    I have my ProGen group meeting in an hour or so, so I’ll try and get this in first!

    I didn’t mean to imply an “us versus them” relationship between BCG or any other standards-based organization, and genealogists in the field. The thing that interested me was the relationship between theoretical-based experience and practice-based experience, and how the former influences the latter. Again, part of the reason the quote struck me is that I am currently so wrapped up in learning processes and procedures, that there is a disconnect between what I am learning and how I might best apply some of these things.

    Part of the reason that Van Riper was successful was precisely because he WAS well-learned in the theory and history of battles and warfare. When his “modern advantages” were taken out, he was able to fall back on WWII technology to get things done. However, I think his two years (or however long it was – can’t remember for sure) in Vietnam, gave him enough practical wisdom to know which parts of theories to use, and which parts to throw out. He knew when and why to break the rules.

    So I definitely believe in the value of standards and standards-based learning. But I am really antsy to get back out and be able to focus on researching, encountering problems, and using the theoretical things we are learning to shape my practical experience similar to the way it shaped Van Riper’s.