Second on is that while I thing Malcolm Gladwell is a good writer, I think he's only about, let's say, 35 percent as deep as he thinks he is.
That said, though, he makes a good point on his blog this morning.
In other words, what makes Pit Bulls over-represented in dog bite statistics is not just a product of the dark side of their character (their ferocity and status as fighting dogs) [which causes some people to encourage them to be fighters --- StY] but the good side of their character (their evenness of temperament.)
This is a paradox that is not confined to dogs. For instance, for years people in the pharmaceutical business have been aware of the fact that a large number of reported adverse reactions to a particular drug can mean one of two things. The obvious meaning is that a drug is dangerous. The other meaning is that a drug is SO much better and safer and more effective than any other drug in its class that it tends to be given to the sickest and most troubled patients.
You might recall that there has been a lot of talk in recent months about antidepressants "causing" or, more properly, being associated with aggression and suicide, especially in teenagers. The way this is played on TV, especially on (spit) the O'Reilly Factor and Geraldo, is that the antidepressants cause the aggression, with the perfect post hoc argument that the aggression came after the antidepressants.
Anyone who suffers from depression or treats depression can tell you, however, that the time people are most at risk for suicide in acute depression is as the depression begins to break up. In the deepest depths of depression, a lot of people may think suicidal thoughts, but they can't muster the energy to actually do it until, perversely, they're feeling a little better.