Friday, May 08, 2009

The New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell pauses over a psychological dynamic close to my heart:

"David, let’s not forget, was a shepherd. He came at Goliath with a slingshot and staff because those were the tools of his trade. He didn’t know that duels with Philistines were supposed to proceed formally, with the crossing of swords. 'When the lion or the bear would come and carry off a sheep from the herd, I would go out after him and strike him down and rescue it from his clutches,' David explained to Saul. He brought a shepherd’s rules to the battlefield. . . .Goliath does not simply dwarf David. He brings the full force of social convention against him; he has contempt for David."

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