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Malcolm Gladwell's Reddit AMA Reveals Thoughts On Canada, Privilege

06/03/2014 03:31 EDT | Updated 06/05/2014 12:59 EDT
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Author Malcolm Gladwell speaks at the 2011 World Business Forum in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. The World Business Forum is an annual global business summit for the executive community, where global icons debate the most pressing issues of the day. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Malcolm Gladwell has been called many things — a genius, a pseudo-scientist, and even an adjective (Gladwellian, of course).

The author of such best-sellers as Outliers: The Story Of Success and the recent David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, is used to such categorizations, given his own massive success since 2000, when he published The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.

But as he made clear in his Reddit AMA on Monday, the most important thing he is, is Canadian.

In response to a question posed by commenter Fuzilli, asking if Gladwell considered himself an outlier, the author responded, "I'm a Canadian. I'm not sure its [sic] legal in Canada to think of yourself as an outlier. We're a pretty modest bunch."

While we're pretty sure the author was joking (after all, that puts into contention his own assertion that many NHL players are outliers), Gladwell didn't stop complimenting Canada, the country where he spent his formative years (and from which he received the Order of Canada in 2011).

"What do I miss about Canada?" he wrote in response to commenter lydzhere. "Canadians are the nicest people in the world. Hands down."

The AMA went on to cover a number of topics — from the importance of getting out of your ideological circles (and meeting Glenn Beck) to the most "bat-shit crazy common human characteristic."

But there was one subject that angered him, seemingly as much as the Canadian topics had him enthused.

A long-distance runner ever since high school, Gladwell answered one commenter's queries about the "pushback in the medical community against distance running" with an opinion he seemed to need no data to back up.

"I think its [sic] moronic--and based on very questionable data. The runners I know are healthy and happy. Would we really be better off lying on our couch watching TV?"

Check out the rest of Gladwell's AMA here.

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