Just saw that Adam at The Second Electric has posted a few interview quotes from Gladwell in a Q&A piece at The New Yorker.
I really do think he has some awesome thoughts on things.
On the Internet’s transience:
The essential fact of the internet is that nothing is permanent. AOL was once the king of online—remember? I doubt that anything that is done electronically will facilitate social activism all that much—at least not unless you’ve put a real world structure in place first.
I do love his skeptical nature about technology (good luck finding him writing anything much online) He just doesn't buy into the hype, yet has an excellent awareness of what is going on. He's not some cranky old Luddite - he's young and aware that maybe we're being feed a big hard sell on technology. (my words not even close to his)
On technology’s impotence:I wish I could spell it out like that.... Isn't that the opposite of ever Apple commercial you've ever seen? (Actually most technology selling commercials) I think somewhere in there is the baked in truth of what is going wrong with a lot of the big show church stuff... You can't motivate change with technology... even when you try really hard.
This is what drives me crazy about the digerati. They refuse to accept the fact that there is a class of social problems for which there is no technological solution. Look. Technology is going to solve the energy problem. I’m convinced of it. Technology is going to give me a computer in ten years time that will fly me to the moon. Technology is going to build a car that goes 100 miles to the gallon. But technology does not and cannot change the underlying dynamics of “human” problems: it doesn’t make it easier to love or motivate or dream or convince.
On using Twitter to motivate social activism:I think the thing I notice most in that statement is the difference of information and organization. I need to think more of ways that different media do this (or don't)
The issue isn’t informing people. It’s organizing people. Twitter is great at the first. But not so great at the second—and Dr. King and his counterparts needed organizations, not communications tools. Remember in the 1960’s you could reliably reach upwards of 95 percent of the black community in urban areas in the South through the church. And there you had their undivided attention for an hour! Who needs Twitter when you have sermons and regular prayer meetings?