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Commentary on Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point

      A ‘tipping point’ is a critical juncture when isolated events are unified info a significant trend.   In our Emergence course, we explored how what many people consider complex behavior arises from a number of simple entities interacting without an architect or creator.  We have examined many these phenomena in order to better understand how their smaller, simpler components allow for their complex behavior.  In his 2000 book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell closely examines why change happens as quickly and unpredictably as it often does.

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Book Commentary: Freud for Beginners

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Human Specialness: Challenged by Our Own Intelligence

      

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Scent Marketing: Does it Work? Who Nose…

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Contemporary Evolution of Racial Mindset

For a large population’s set of beliefs to evolve, members of the population who hold novel beliefs must influence others in their beliefs. When more and more individuals consequently hold these original beliefs, the mindset of the population as a whole can evolve. This process has occurred numerous times in American history especially with race. Today, a new outlook on race has emerged in certain communities and when more and more individuals are introduced into this mindset, the popular belief of the American society can evolve. The emerging racial belief is one of more consciousness and understanding of other races and cultures.

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The Evolution of Racial Understand over Time

      Many individuals in the contemporary United States view slavery as one of our country’s biggest embarrassments and wrong-doings.  About 230 years ago in United States, slavery had very opponents and was widely accepted as a social norm in American culture.  Although slavery is frowned upon today, tension between races and the idea of racial superiority still exists.  Many believe that prejudice, stereotypes, and racist attitudes have been dwindling over time.  These sentiments, however, are no less prevalent than they were when slavery was flourishing in our country.  Instead, they exist in different forms that are accepted by our culture today.  The mindset, not the existence, of racial superiority by citizens of the United States has evolved from the past until now and continues to evolve in our society. 
 

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Evolution in the Classroom

              For every piece of knowledge that we come across, there exists a multilayered way of understanding and interpreting it. Very often, it is by close analysis of these diverse and differing perspectives of information that each individual is able to add to their perpetually growing store of knowledge. Consequently, if the numerous ways of understanding a particular topic are not taken into account by learners, they often develop a very singular way of framing their perception of different subject matter, and the world at large. As educational Paulo Freire puts it, “[Students’] capacity to intervene, to compare, to judge, to decide, to choose, to desist makes them capable of acts of greatness…”1    It is the job of educators, therefore, to present their students with as many ways of approaching and understanding particular subject matter. This has the effect of giving each student numerous perspectives of knowledge, on which they can exercise their innate, democratic right to choose what they want to learn.  It is for this precise reason that the topic of evolution should be taught in schools; not to impose on the value of those that prefer to believe in creationism, but to allow individuals to choose which of the two they would rather learn.      

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