If you're not yet listening to Revisionist History, this episode is a perfect introduction to its worldview, which is itself an extension of Malcolm Gladwell's personal brand. Gladwell, in case you're not familiar, is a bestselling author, long obsessed with human beings' natural tendencies to misinterpret data, assume too much, and misunderstand the way our world works. In this podcast, he puts his finger on specific moments in history where people have done, or are still doing, exactly that - believing, for example, that when a woman becomes a political leader, it will open doors for more female political leaders (wrong); or that donating to a big, prestigious university does more good than giving to a smaller one (wrong, wrong). The most eye-opening instalment yet recalls us to a period in 2009, when family Toyotas appeared to be speeding up out of control, sometimes killing people. There were recalls, government warnings, dodgy television exposes. Gladwell examines the evidence in the Sudden Acceleration Crisis anew, and discovers that the truth is far simpler than any panicked hypothesis floated at the time - if rather more difficult to accept.
Gateway episodes: Blame Game (4 Aug 2016) / Hallelujah (28 Jul 2016) / The Lady Vanishes (16 Jun 2016)