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TedTalks

Malcolm Gladwell: The strange tale of the Norden bombsight

Teachers Notes Part One Gladwells introduction to Carl Norden

How does Gladwell feel about what has happened since the last lecture on Spaghetti sauce? Happy but a little tired of the attention it has given him. He lowers his voice when he says that his talk has been interesting for people in the short term. Why does he do this? Amusing; to show contrast with the second part when he says but its proven to be less than ideal over seven years. He repeats the technique of tripling where words (adjectives) are listed in a three, and then repeated. Which words does he use to do this?

small, exquisite, expensive objects He repeats the techniques of personalisation; how does he do this in describing Carl Norden? three-piece suits; small, important moustache; domineering and narcissistic, driven, ego etc.. Gladwell mentions that Carl Norden has very strong feelings about alternating current: what affect do the words strong feelings have? He is being humorous: of course he has strong feeling it is his chosen field of interest. Gladwell points out that Carl Norden is interested in how to drop bombs from an airplane. Does this subject seem immediately interesting? Why does Gladwell find these subjects interesting? He sees the wider relevance of small details/ the turning points/tipping points in history.

Part Two Comprehension Questions

What, are the environmental problems in guiding a bomb to its target? kinds of winds and cloud cover and all kinds of other impediments. What does the Mark 15 Norden bombsight allow the bombardier to do?

Find its target How much money did the U.S. military spend on developing the Norden bombsight in 1940? 1.5 billion How did Nordens Christianity inform his role as an inventor? Only God could invent things. He was simple the instrument of God's will suffering should be narrow not wide. What did the Norden bombsight do? Allowed to bomb the things that were absolutely needed to avoid wider suffering. Why did it take such a long time to train bombardiers to use the Norden Bombsight? essentially analog computers; not easy to use. How would you describe the measures taken to ensure that the enemy could not use the Norden Bombsight? High-security / top secret / protective of technology How would you describe the effects of war conditions on the ability to use the Norden bombsight? Problematic: lack of knowhow/training, unpredictable war coditions, the excitement of battle vs. difficult-towork equipment. What was the problem with the real conditions that the planes were flying under?

So they started flying them at high altitudes at incredibly high speeds and the Norden bombsight doesn't work as well under those conditions. Was the Norden bombsight successful. Write notes with your evidence: No visual contact with the target no accuracy Leuna, Germany 10% success rate. Carl Norden hired German engineers and Hermann Long in 1938, gave a complete set of the plans for the Norden bombsight to the Nazis.

Part 3 Gladwells rationale So why did Malcolm Gladwell talk about this subject? Make notes below: Lots of inventions / make world better / websites to make you free in military, many Carl Nordens problem not technology not accurate / human knowledge defective e.g in Iraq: technology can hit target, but did not know where to find it. problem also; unforeseen consequences. Drone in Nth. Pakistan 95% accuracy but the number attacks, suicide attacks and terrorist attacks, against American forces in Afghanistan has increased tenfold. More efficient killing = angry retaliation

Therefore making things no solution; problems more complex

Malcolm Gladwell: The strange tale of the Norden bombsight

n.b. Hiroshima Norden missed by 8OO ft, but didnt matter.

Malcolm Gladwell: The strange tale of the Norden bombsight

Part One Gladwells introduction to Carl Norden Please look at the following questions; thinking about the previous talk that Gladwell did on Spaghetti Sauce; look at these questions and prepare to answer them in relation to his style of presenting. a. How does Gladwell feel about what has happened since the last lecture on Spaghetti sauce?

b. He lowers his voice when he says that his talk has been interesting for people in the long term. Why does he do this? c. He repeats the technique of tripling where words (adjectives) are listed in a three, and then repeated. Which words does he use to do this?

d. He repeats the technique of personalisation (giving background information about an individual) ; how does he do this in describing Carl Norden? e. Gladwell mentions that Carl Norden has very strong feelings about alternating current: what affect do the words strong feelings have? f. Gladwell points out that Carl Norden is interested in how to drop bombs from an airplane. Does this subject seem immediately interesting? Why does Gladwell find these kinds of subject interesting?

Part Two Comprehension Questions


Gladwell will now go into detail about his topic of interest. Listen carefully and try to pick out the key facts which make Gladwells argument.

1. What, are the environmental problems in guiding a bomb to its target? 2. What does the Mark 15 Norden bombsight allow the bombardier to do? 3. How much money did the U.S. military spend on developing the Norden bombsight in 1940? 4. How did Nordens Christianity inform his role as an inventor?
5.

What did the Norden bombsight do?

6. Why did it take such a long time to train bombardiers to use the Norden Bombsight? 7. How would you describe the measures taken to ensure that the enemy could not use the Norden Bombsight? 8. How would you describe the effects of war conditions on the ability to use the Norden bombsight? 9. What was the problem with the real conditions that the planes were flying under? 10. Was the Norden bombsight successful? Write notes with your evidence:

Part 3 Gladwells rationale


Gladwell will now come to his crucial points; outlining his rationale / reasons for discussing the subject. Listen and make notes as to his main points:

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