At least somebody else shares the same low view I have of Malcom Gladwell, journalist for The New Yorker who has written the best selling books: >The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outlier. If any situation deserved the analogy "the emperor has no clothes", this would be it. These books sound deep and insightful, but have absolutely no worthwhile content.
These books ride the recent wave of scientific mysticism. On one hand, they tackle their topic with the scientific view that there is a natural explanation for everything, that there is nothing divine or spiritual. On the other hand, the theories and explanations are all made up with the same scientific rigor that astrologists use.
The genre of scientific mysticism isn't completely bogus. Richard Dawkin proposed the idea of a "meme" back in 1976 with his book "The Selfish Gene". What makes Dawkins work different than Gladwell's is that Dawkins is a scientist, and he uses real science to discuss his idea.
How do we recognize phony mysticism? How do we recognize when the emperor has no clothes? How do we get to the naked truth of things? Well, it's actually a straight forward application of the scientific method. Unfortunately, while students are taught to believe blindly in science (like evolution), they are never taught what the scientific method actually is. I suppose someone could write a book called "Naked" that would teach science, but it wouldn't sell well. People buy these books because they want to believe in mysticism, so they aren't going to buy anything that debunks it.