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Malcolm Gladwell took a break from his

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 07, 2007

Malcolm Gladwell took a break from his day job to write another book and has returned to shorter form writing with a short blog post and a New Yorker article on criminal profiling.

A profile isn’t a test, where you pass if you get most of the answers right. It’s a portrait, and all the details have to cohere in some way if the image is to be helpful. In the mid-nineties, the British Home Office analyzed a hundred and eighty-four crimes, to see how many times profiles led to the arrest of a criminal. The profile worked in five of those cases. That’s just 2.7 per cent, which makes sense if you consider the position of the detective on the receiving end of a profiler’s list of conjectures.

The identity of anyone with information on Gladwell’s new book will be treated with the greatest of discretion…hit me on my burner.