Damn You Gladwell

The most overused set of words in the media today is "tipping point". I just read it in an excerpt of a NY Times article quoted on Hit and Run to describe the growing fraction of women in colleges and universities. Not less than five minutes later, I heard it uttered by Howard Kurtz on CNN to describe changing public sentiment on Iraq. One can only hope that a paradigm shift occurs to channel the synergistic energies of the MSM in order to seamlessly integrate more original phraseology.

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"tipping point" has become

"tipping point" has become ubiquitous

That last sentence made me

That last sentence made me LOL. God, I want to slap people who talk like that. It's so, so true. It's not that the phrase doesn't mean anything, but that people abuse it to the point of meaninglessness. "Meme" gets the same treatment -- it's a word that has a useful meaning, but it tends to be used as a synonym for "cool shit everyone is linking to."

So, are they saying that the

So, are they saying that the impactfullness of "tipping point" has reached critical mass?

The tipping point rhetoric

The tipping point rhetoric is more than just harmless buzzwordcraftery, though. By saying, "yes, your doing thing X affected only you, but at some point someone doing thing X will CHANGE EVERYTHING," a fan of central planning can invent externalities without even having to go to the trouble of manufacturing them or of finding a real trend to exaggerate.

Tipping points turn every individual choice, no matter how internalized, into part of some vast and scary and unfathomable transforming social change. A better argument for why everything must be planned, stamped, and regulated even despite evidence that it has been harmless would be hard to come up with.

"One can only hope that a

"One can only hope that a paradigm shift occurs to channel the synergistic energies of the MSM in order to seamlessly integrate more original phraseology":lol::lol::grin:

It appears that the use of

It appears that the use of the phrase "tipping point" has reached the point of diminishing returns, eh?