Posted by: fosterreisz | March 4, 2010

Outliers: The Story of Success – Harlan, Kentucky

This is a pretty short chapter in the book. It provides a brief personal story related to Harlan, Kentucky, but the main point is how we as “apples” don’t fall far from the roots of our “trees.” Trees having a meaning ranging from surrounding environment to family blood-line. Those from Harlan, Kentucky, if traced back through generations, can be ancestrally tied to the Scotch-Irish. People from this lineage are notorious for being potentially volatile. Ever heard of the Fighting Irish? They were herdsmen in their home country. They had to fight for what was theirs. There was no time for BS, and there was no exception when it came time for them to immigrate to the New World. They moved to remote areas, with little or no law enforcement to tell them what to do, and in some cases they actually told law enforcement what to do. When you have this type of ancestral line, these characteristics carry through the generations, and present themselves in present-day society. A study is examined that showed Southerners to be more hot-tempered than Northerners. Even though not all Southerners can be tied to a Scotch-Irish lineage, they live in an environment that was formed by the Scotch-Irish. The hot-tempered, no BS attitudes that were prevalent in the very beginning transcended through the generations, and are interwoven in today’s culture, people and attitudes. Northerners usually end up calming down, while Southerners tend to blow up. While there are obviously exceptions to these rules, it just goes to show you how much we can be a product of our environment.

“When one family fights with another, it’s a feud. When lots of families fight with one another in identical little towns up and down the same mountain range, it’s a pattern.”



  1. I feel as if people are transmuted into what today are stereotypes because of people with power and privilege had a hand in it. These people are evil but thanks to these evil people we have the modern world that we are currently living in. But I wonder if these Scot-Irish people could have lived a total different life. Where they had laws and no wars with the Brits. How would they be now? If any of the world wars never happened how would some nations feel towards others? But again thanks to these evil powerful individuals I have a PS3 and a MacBook Pro and get to pay the Louvre to look at some art that should be shown for free.

    In closing, this is why aliens need to come to earth and enslave the human race with me selling everyone out and have ever-lasting life and knowledge, thanks to alien technology. And then I’ll back stab the aliens and sell them out to even more powerful beings. MUHAHAHAHAHA~! I ♥ being evil.

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