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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  July 6, 2014 7:00pm-8:02pm PDT

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. and ford >> simon: hollywood's always had its bad guys-- think the joker or darth vader. but its biggest villain is a man who calls himself kim dotcom. you won't see him on the big screen but, until recently, he ran a service that made it possible for you to see almost any movie you wanted to for next to nothing. >> i'm good at this whole business game. >> simon: you're just a plain businessman... a plain businessman who, when he was a teenager, hacked into the pentagon and nasa? come on. >> people assume, when my hair is long, that i'm a lot cooler than i actually am. i'm not opposed to this misconception, by the way. >> cooper: malcolm gladwell is a best-selling author who has made a career by challenging conventional wisdom.
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in his new book, he questions history, business, sports, even the wisdom of sending your kid to an ivy league school. >> if harvard is $60,000, and university of toronto, where i went to school, is maybe $6,000, so you're really telling me that education is ten times better at harvard than it is at university of toronto? that seems ridiculous to me. >> pelley: wow. that is astounding. ho, look at that. whoa. >> yeah! >> pelley: oh, my god. >> incredible. what a sight. you're looking right into the crater. >> pelley: there are 1,500 active volcanoes, and tonight, we want to tell you about three: one that caused the most recent mass disruption, another that's the biggest threat to a major city, and a third, in the united states, that could wreak havoc all around the world.
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>> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm leslie stahl. >> i'm morley safer. >> i'm bob simon. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories tonight on "60 minutes." hey. clustered around power outlets, near the recycling bins... did you jiggle it? stained carpeting... ...and bathrooms. hey. tethered to the wall. aw, come on... denied the freedom to enjoy even the most basic things. like grabbing a drink... ...or sharing a laugh with your co-workers. or sitting with someone you know. it says the new iphone's comin' out soon. hope it has a better battery! totally. you're stuck here until your battery says so. really? yeah, after all that time... i gotta plug in. you coming? actually, i'm okay. are you changing your battery? yep. is that the new samsung?
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>> simon: hollywood's always had its bad guys-- think the joker or darth vader. but their biggest villain is a man who calls himself kim dotcom. you won't see him on the big screen but, until recently, he ran a service that made it possible for you to see almost any movie you wanted to for next to nothing. before his web site, megaupload, was shut down, federal authorities say it allowed people to access not only copyrighted films, but copyrighted music, books and video games. they claim he cost the entertainment industry more than $500 million in lost revenue. hollywood considered him one of the worst pirates ever. as we reported last january, the u.s. has filed an indictment against kim dotcom for copyright
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infringement, racketeering and money laundering, and has requested his extradition from new zealand, where he lives. that was two and a half years ago, but kim dotcom hasn't gone anywhere. kim dotcom was once master of the internet, but these days, his domain is 60 acres of rolling hillside near auckland, new zealand. nice place. the only problem is this larger- than-life character can't leave new zealand. when he's not touring his grounds on a souped-up golf cart, kim is fighting the entertainment industry and extradition to the united states. he is hollywood's super-villain, which is, in many ways, a role he always wanted to play. >> kim dotcom: i was inspired by the james bond movies, you know, where, you know, some characters had private islands and super tankers converted into yachts and space stations and underwater homes.
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so, you know, i... i got inspired by that. >> simon: but you're not playing james bond, you're playing dr. no. >> dotcom: ( laughs ) that's what everybody says. >> simon: kim dotcom changed his name from kim schmitz in 2005 when he started a file-sharing service. ♪ ♪ it was called megaupload, and as this ad shows, it boasted the endorsement of celebrities like kanye west, and kim kardashian. >> i love megaupload. >> simon: here's how it worked. if you wanted to send a friend a file that was too large to email-- a wedding video, for example-- you could just upload it onto megaupload's servers and your friends could click a link to download it. it was a virtual warehouse where people stored and shared digital files. by selling advertisements and premium subscriptions, megaupload brought in an estimated $175 million.
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it became one of the most frequented sites on the internet. how did it get so popular and profitable? according to federal authorities, by also allowing users to illegally share the hottest new movies, or hit songs, or tv programs, including some cbs shows. >> shawn henry: megaupload knowingly created and facilitated the distribution of stolen property. >> simon: shawn henry is former executive assistant director of the fbi. he was responsible for the megaupload investigation. >> henry: no different than if somebody has a warehouse where stolen property is being dropped off. if you created the environment that facilitated it, and you encouraged it, and you incentivized people by paying them to drop off stolen property, i think that you are complicit. >> simon: in its indictment, the justice department calls megaupload a "mega conspiracy," a "worldwide criminal
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organization whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale." but kim argues that he is not legally responsible for what users chose to do on his site. >> dotcom: am i the one who's at fault if users upload that kind of stuff and up... re-upload it again? do i have to go to jail for that? because i didn't do it. i didn't upload these things to megaupload. >> simon: the indictment called you a pirate. they weren't just charging you with copyright infringement. it was a whole list of crimes-- racketeering, money laundering. where do these charges come from? >> dotcom: well, they are all derived from the copyright infringement allegation. and the racketeering was added on top because, in new zealand, you cannot be extradited for copyright infringement. >> simon: yet federal authorities allege kim's whole
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business was built on piracy, offering cash incentives to users who uploaded popular content like movies and music. that copyright infringement allegedly cost the entertainment industry more than $500 million in lost revenue. kim was getting rich, they say, but every dollar he made was a dollar taken away from the people who actually produced the material. >> eriq gardner: this was the number one pirate, in their eyes. >> simon: eriq gardner is a senior editor at the "hollywood reporter" who's covered the megaupload case extensively. >> gardner: this was a guy who was fostering infringements on a massive scale. >> simon: any idea how many users there were? >> gardner: there were reported to be about 50 million users on a daily basis. >> simon: to me, i mean, 50 million sounds virtually incomprehensible. >> gardner: to the entertainment industry, those are 50 million people who are not paying $12
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for a dvd, those are people who are not paying $15 for a movie ticket. >> simon: in 2010, the motion picture association of america, which represents the film industry, referred the case to the justice department. the u.s. then enlisted the help of the new zealand government, and on the morning of january 20, 2012, after months of planning, their top anti-terror unit took action. as you can see in these videos taken that day, they descended on kim's compound as if it were an al qaeda stronghold. they were working closely with officials from the u.s. department of justice and the fbi, who were in auckland helping oversee the raid. it was a scene straight out of a summer blockbuster. >> wayne tempero: there was a serious group of individuals here. >> simon: wayne tempero was kim's head of security at the time. the morning of the raid, he
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found himself facing down two officers with automatic weapons. what kind of weapons? >> tempero: mp-5s. everybody had sidearms on. there were shotguns. i saw people walking around with sledgehammers, everything. >> simon: tempero was tied up and held in the mansion's courtyard. the rest of kim's staff, his three children and pregnant wife were rounded up, as well. >> tempero: so this is the staircase up to the boss's private area of the house. >> simon: kim had been lying on his bed working at his computer when he heard the ruckus outside. >> tempero: he walked over here and grabbed this. this is a panic button. he pressed that. >> simon: and that goes through to you? >> tempero: straight to me, a text message to me. >> simon: police were working their sledgehammers, but couldn't find kim anywhere. >> tempero: and they were... they'd done this damage here thinking that he was in the dumb waiter. >> simon: tempero says he was forced to show them where kim was. >> tempero: it's a closet. but if you push the back of the door...
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okay, so this is the red room-- as you can see, only because of the color of the carpet, nothing sinister. >> simon: the police found kim sitting behind a pillar, not far from a locker that stored a shotgun. to this day, kim believes the operation was excessive. >> dotcom: this is an overreach of epic proportions. >> simon: but there was a gun in the room? >> dotcom: yeah, there was a gun in the room. but, you know, i mean, you in the u.s., everyone has a gun in the room, right? that's not the reason why you go and invade the home with anti- terrorist forces. >> simon: the police weren't finished. they seized his computers, carried away kim's fleet of luxury cars, froze his assets, and pulled the plug on megaupload. kim dotcom was arrested, along with three of his associates, and thrown in jail for a month. it was a global operation that sent shockwaves across the internet. was the megaupload bust designed to send a message? >> henry: i... i think that the judicial process is about
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deterrence. it's about people understanding that there are consequences for crime. this... we didn't... the fbi didn't investigate this case specifically to send a message, but certainly, that's a result. >> simon: kim had always skated on the edge of legality. before his foray into the entertainment business, he was a hacker and claims to have broken into computers at nasa and the pentagon. he turned those skills into a successful business, advising major corporations on how to protect themselves from hackers just like him. >> dotcom: i'm good at this whole business game. >> simon: you're just a plain businessman. >> dotcom: i'm a businessman, yeah. >> simon: a plain businessman who, when he was a teenager, hacked into the pentagon and nasa? come on. >> dotcom: well, i... i have to say that i love being a businessman much more than being a hacker. >> simon: kim has had his hands in many businesses; some of them met with disapproval.
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in the '90s, he was arrested for using computers to hack telephone lines and credit card numbers. then, he pled guilty to insider trading; later, was found guilty of embezzlement. white collar crimes. but in videos he circulated online, he loved portraying himself as a cartoonish action hero. he used the internet the way hollywood's giants have always used the big screen, creating an extravagant persona. there he was on yachts or private planes, and here he is with his wife showing off one of his luxury cars. check out the license plate. his narcissism had no limits and he was never far from a photographer. when he finally settled down, it was in this modern-day xanadu, a mansion only he, or orson welles, could have imagined. were all these extravagant things here when you bought it? >> dotcom: what do you mean?
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>> simon: i mean, that's quite a chandelier. >> dotcom: oh, no, i bought that. i like black and white-- as you can see, that's a theme throughout the house. >> simon: when kim moved to new zealand from hong kong in 2010, megaupload was a worldwide sensation. by the time you came here, you were already a very wealthy man. >> dotcom: yeah, i made good money. >> simon: right. can you say how much at the time? what were you worth when you left hong kong? >> dotcom: well, we just did a valuation for the company because we wanted to do an i.p.o., and it was around $2.5 billion. >> simon: two and a half billion? >> dotcom: yes. >> simon: the government says this empire was built, quite simply, on stolen goods. but kim insists he complied with the law, went to great lengths to remove infringing material from the site. so why does he think the government's going after him? >> dotcom: because of my flamboyant lifestyle, because of me being german. the way i am, i'm the easiest person to sell as a villain. >> simon: you really think that that's what did it?
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you don't think there was anything about megaupload that led them to say and think, "this guy's gone too far"? >> dotcom: i'm the perfect target. and that's why they picked megaupload. >> simon: kim dotcom says he's convinced that he was chosen because he looks like a villain. >> henry: people sometimes tell me i look like a villain, right? people aren't... aren't investigated because of the way they look, or the type of car they drive. they're investigated because there's an allegation that they're involved in illegal activity, that they're committing a crime. >> simon: but if federal authorities hoped kim would be in u.s. custody by now, they are surely disappointed. there has been legal wrangling in new zealand courts over the warrants police used in their raid. and officials there have admitted to illegally eavesdropping on kim's communications. two and a half years after his arrest, the battle over kim dotcom's extradition continues. >> dotcom: i was illegally spied
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on by the g.c.s.b. >> simon: megaupload might not exist anymore, but kim seized on the controversy to reinvent himself. always a master of marketing, he's become the darling of the media in new zealand and a self- styled privacy activist. he's formed his own political party, and last year, on the anniversary of that raid, he launched a brand new file sharing service. he is, as always, the star of his own movie. but this time, he didn't write the script. >> dotcom: stop this madness. let's all be friends. >> simon: we asked the department of justice, the fbi, and the motion picture association of america to talk to us about the case. they all declined. in april, several movie studios and record labels sued kim dotcom for massive copyright infringement.
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>> cbs money watch update sponsored by lincoln financial. calling all chief life officers. >> glor: good evening. the trial over whether shelly sterling had the authority to sell the l.a. clippers starts tomorrow. boeing says it's still assessing damage after a train derailment damaged parts of eight different planes. and dubai says it's building the mall of the world, the biggest one ever. i'm jeff glor, cbs news. ♪
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>> cooper: everyone loves an underdog, a tale about a little guy who takes on the establishment favorite. but is our understanding of the underdog accurate? can a disadvantage, a weakness, actually lead to a hidden strength? as we first reported last november, it's a question that's been asked ever since david took on goliath, an almost 3,000- year-old story that writer malcolm gladwell believes we've been getting wrong all this time. >> malcolm gladwell: when we look at battles between lopsided parties, we exaggerate the strength of the favorite and we underestimate the strength of the underdog. >> cooper: malcolm gladwell believes underdogs win more often than we think because their limitations can force them to be creative. david couldn't slay goliath with a sword, but with his sling, he could be deadly from a distance. and gladwell says there's plenty
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of modern research to explain why. >> gladwell: i had a conversation with this ballistics expert with the israeli defense force who had done the math and pointed out that the projectile, the rock coming from david's sling, was moving at about 35 meters per second, and would have hit goliath with the stopping power equivalent to a bullet from a .45 caliber handgun. >> cooper: how did you find an israeli ballistics expert who had done this study on the throwing power of david? >> gladwell: because there was a paper presented at the international ballistics conference, like, seven years ago, whatever, by... >> cooper: how... how did you even hear about the international ballistics conference? >> gladwell: if you're as much of a nerd as i am, this is the kind of stuff that you... you get interested in, you know. >> cooper: this is what you do. >> gladwell: this is what i do, yeah. >> cooper: what gladwell does has made him hugely popular and very wealthy. his new book, "david and goliath"-- all about underdogs-- has already topped the "new york times" best-seller list. >> gladwell: when you're an
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underdog, you're forced to try things you would never otherwise have attempted. because david... there was no way he could do a duel with swords, he feels emboldened to try something totally outside the box, right? and that's a pattern that you see again and again with underdogs that, because they can't do the thing they are required to do, they look for alternate routes. >> cooper: gladwell began writing about the successful strategies of underdogs after meeting an indian-born software mogul named vivek ranadiveé. what interested gladwell wasn't software, but how ranadiveé coached his 12-year-old daughter's basketball team, seen here in white, even though ranadiveé knew nothing about the game. growing up in india, did you play basketball? >> vivek ranadivé: i'd never actually touched a basketball in my life. >> cooper: never touched one? >> ranadivé: never touched one. when i went to coach my daughter's team, i had physically never touched a basketball. >> cooper: his lack of knowledge about basketball wasn't his only obstacle. his daughter's team had absolutely no talent. the girls on your basketball team, they weren't tall. >> ranadivé: no.
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>> cooper: could they dribble? >> ranadivé: a couple of them. >> cooper: could they shoot? >> ranadivé: not very well. >> cooper: did they have a long experience playing basketball? >> ranadivé: for the most part, no. >> cooper: so ranadiveé relied n his mathematics talent and devised a computer algorithm that turned out to be a winning formula for his girls. the strategy-- force the other team to turn over the ball. >> gladwell: he says, "look, i'm not... we're not going to bother practicing shooting, it's pointless. we're not going to practice dribbling. i'm going to teach you to run around like this the entire game. we're going to play the most maniacal defense known to man. and we're going to score by stealing the ball and shooting lay-ups. that's it." >> ranadivé: it didn't really matter that my girls couldn't shoot as well. if i could get the ball under the basket and if i could win the turnover battle, then i could win the game. >> cooper: ranadiveé's girls played a never-ending full court press.
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they won every regular season game. your daughter's opponents, they just weren't used to playing basketball like this. >> ranadivé: no. no. i... in fact, their coaches were not used to playing that way. >> cooper: they didn't like it. >> ranadivé: they didn't like it. one guy, a big guy, was so upset that he said he wanted to meet me in the parking lot after the game. >> cooper: he wanted to beat you up? >> ranadivé: well, he wanted to meet me in the parking lot. ( laughter ) >> cooper: ranadiveé's underdogs made it all the way to the state championships. you clearly started to like basketball after that? >> ranadivé: i did. i did. i ended up falling in love with the game. >> cooper: and you're still a software c.e.o. of a multi- billion dollar company. but i understand you recently made a big purchase? >> ranadivé: well, i did. i bought the sacramento kings. >> cooper: you bought an nba basketball team? >> ranadivé: i did. >> cooper: an underdog's disadvantages can be converted into advantages, and gladwell believes that's just as true apart from sports. gary cohn is one of gladwell's favorite examples. >> gary cohn: i was a troubled
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student as a young child. and at that period-- this is the early '60s-- the world of dyslexia hadn't been as developed as it is today. you know, i don't think anyone really knew how to diagnose the problem. >> gladwell: he couldn't do school. he acted up in class. he got kicked out of schools. his mother never thought he would graduate from high school. when he graduated from high school, his mother cried. why? because it... it was a day she thought would never come. >> cooper: cohn still has difficulty reading, but he's figured out ways to work around his disability, skills that have led him all the way to the president's office at goldman sachs. >> gladwell: an incredibly high percentage of successful entrepreneurs are dyslexic. that's one of the little-known facts. so many of them, in fact, it's like a joke among dyslexic researchers that you go into a room of very successful businesspeople, and you... you have a show of hands on who has a learning disability, it's like half the hands in the room go up. it's fascinating. >> cooper: although dyslexia remains a challenge for many people, cohn figured out a way
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to overcome it. his disability forced him to become a good listener and made him unafraid to take chances. >> cohn: people that can't read well, we tend to build a great sense of listening. we also tend to build a great sense of being able to deal and cope with failure. >> cooper: this is not something, though, you would wish on anybody else? >> cohn: no, i would not. >> cooper: gladwell is fascinated with people who achieve success by forging their own path, perhaps because that's what he has done. he is a staff writer for the "new yorker" magazine, but he doesn't actually have an office. he writes in small cafes in new york, and does most of his research in a library where he hunts out obscure, often dull academic papers and mines them for interesting, counterintuitive ideas. david remnick, editor of the "new yorker," calls him an original. >> david remnick: there are people that cover science. there are people that cover business. there are people that cover trends. but this strange amalgam of reading academic journals, interviewing ordinary people,
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thinking, storytelling, this is something that malcolm really... that was a territory that he carved out for himself. >> cooper: what do you think he's interested in achieving? is it that he's got an opinion and he wants everybody else to agree with it? >> remnick: absolutely just the opposite. i think what he's interested in is testing and pressing against received wisdom. most of the time, what we think of our ideas about the world, it's received wisdom. we've read them. we've assumed it's correct. we don't have time to test everything. >> cooper: gladwell's testing of everything has made him a goliath in the world of publishing, but he began as an underdog. not a particularly strong student, his upbringing in rural ontario, canada, was, well, a bit odd. >> gladwell: we had no tv, we had no stereo. we never went to the movies. we never even went out to dinner. like, i think we... like we once went out to dinner in... like, in sort of the mid-'70s.
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found the experience not to our liking and didn't go back. >> cooper: not to your liking. ( laughter ) i mean, what you're what you're describing is a childhood from the '30s. >> gladwell: i thought i had... no, i had... i read a lot of books. i thought i had a fabulous childhood. i mean, when i would sometimes get bored, and my mother would say it's important to be bored. you're giving your brain a rest. >> cooper: his jamaican-born mother is a family therapist, his english father a math professor. gladwell says being biracial and feeling like an outsider has given him a perspective that still informs his writing. >> gladwell: we lived in england. then, we moved to canada, where we were sort of outsiders. and then i moved to america, where i'm a kind of outsider. so i feel like i've constantly been in this situation of shaking my head and thinking, "this is a strange place." >> cooper: gladwell finds america's obsession with ivy league colleges strange. >> gladwell: you moron! >> cooper: he argues the presumed advantages of ivy league schools can actually be disadvantages. gladwell went to the university of toronto and says he's better
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off for it. >> gladwell: i have a massive chip on my shoulder. i went to a state school in canada. you kidding me? i come to new york, and all kinds of people who went to harvard and yale are mentioning that in every second sentence. it drives me crazy, so... so i have taken it upon myself... >> cooper: i went to yale. >> gladwell: i know that, but you haven't mentioned it until now, so i've... >> cooper: i never mention it. i really don't. he says the assumption in america that students should go to the most prestigious school they get in to is simply wrong. >> gladwell: if you go to an elite school, where the other students in your class are all really brilliant, you run the risk of mistakenly believing yourself to not be a good student. >> cooper: even if... >> gladwell: even if you are. right? it doesn't... if you're last in your class at harvard, it doesn't feel like you're a good student, even though you really are. it's not smart for everyone to want to go to a great school. >> cooper: so if you had a child, would you want them to go to harvard? >> gladwell: no, of course not. i'd want them to go to school in... to a state school in canada where their tuition would be $4,000 a year. if harvard is $60,000 and
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university of toronto, where i went to school, is maybe $6,000, so you're really telling me that an education is ten times better at harvard than it is at university of toronto? that seems ridiculous to me. >> cooper: he doesn't like to talk about money, but gladwell earns millions from his books and lectures. in person, however, there is little sign of his wealth. he lives alone in greenwich village on the top two floors of a walk-up brownstone. a self-described hermit, he doesn't even have a doorbell. >> gladwell: i don't want a doorbell. i don't want anyone ringing my doorbell. why... why... seems to me so intrusive. >> cooper: so when people come visit, what do they do? >> gladwell: they call me on their cell phone. >> cooper: for all his success, on the streets of new york, he's nearly invisible, save for his signature cloud of curls bobbing above the crowd. >> gladwell: people assume, when my hair is long, that i'm a lot cooler than i actually am. i'm not opposed to this misconception, by the way, but it is a misconception. thank you for buying six books!
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>> cooper: at 50, malcolm gladwell has reached a level of success few writers ever will. his previous four books have sold nearly five million copies. his first one, "the tipping point," was published 13 years ago, but remains on the "new york times" best-seller list. his fans fill lecture halls, and companies pay big money to hear about his latest observations. >> gladwell: how do you get to be that person who just is completely indifferent to what everyone around you is saying? and you get to be that person if you have been through the absolute worst the world can throw at you and come out fine, right? >> cooper: while readers find his writing accessible and perceptive, his critics say his conclusions can be formulaic and obvious. >> gladwell: i'm not afraid of the obvious. i think the really obvious questions are the great ones. >> cooper: you're a superstar in the world of publishing, and you have a lot of people gunning for you. a lot of people probably would like to see you fail with a book. you don't feel like a goliath? >> gladwell: well, i'm not
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lumbering and... am i? i try not to think too much about what has happened in my career and draw too many conclusions about it. i think it's always best if you pretend that you're exactly the same as you always were. and i'm perhaps as befuddled by my success as my critics are. so in that sense, i see eye to eye with them. when they say, "i can't believe gladwell did this." i say, "i can't believe gladwell did that, either. how on earth did that happen?" ( laughter ) >> now a cbs sports update presented by pacific life. angel cabrera from argentina won the greenbrier classic. a winner by two over george mcneill. novak djokovic took the gentleman's title at wimbledon, five-set victory over roger federer, his seventh career grand slam title. arizona ended atlanta's nine-game winning streak today. and for more sports news and
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>> pelley: if you think we're living in an unstable world, well, just listen to this. only 1% of our earth is solid rock. most of the other 99% is an oozing mass, churning beneath our feet like road tar at temperatures between 2,000 and 10,000 degrees. the earth's crust is only 20 miles thick. when that cracks, one of the greatest forces in nature erupts. there are 1,500 active volcanoes, and earlier this year, we first told you about three: one that caused the most recent mass disruption; another that's the biggest threat to a major city; and a third, in the united states, that could wreak havoc all around the world. the first, the disruptive volcano, has a name as long and as hard as the trouble it
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caused-- eyjafjallajokull means "island mountain glacier" in the inscrutable language of iceland. when it blew in 2010, we started shooting this story, and we came to the right place. over the last 500 years, iceland's 30 volcanoes have released one third of all the lava on earth. we put together an expedition to be the first to reach the summit after the eruption. the volcanic landscape covered in ice isn't hospitable to life, or convoys, for that matter. the man in front of the truck is pointing out cracks in the glacier that would swallow us whole. we covered miles of forbidding terrain at walking speed. when the trucks could go no further, we hiked with our guide, one of the worlds leading authorities on volcanoes, haraldur sigurdsson.
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>> pelley: wow. that is astounding. ho, look at that. whoa. ( laughs ) >> haraldur sigurdsson: yeah! >> pelley: oh, my god. >> sigurdsson: incredible. what a sight. you're looking right into the crater. >> pelley: scientists rate volcanic eruptions on a scale of zero to eight. this is a four, which they call "cataclysmic." tell me what you're seeing. >> sigurdsson: it's an explosive eruption, and the explosions are producing big clouds of ash that are moving up straight up into the atmosphere at the velocity of a few hundred feet per second. and throwing out huge rocks. >> pelley: how big are these pieces that we see flying? >> sigurdsson: some of these are the size of cars. >> pelley: and how high are they going up? must be a thousand feet. >> sigurdsson: at least a thousand feet. but they're still red hot, maybe 2,000 degrees fahrenheit. >> pelley: what's causing these stupendous explosions that we're hearing?
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>> sigurdsson: well, the big booms that we're hearing are huge gas bubbles in the magma that are popping open. they may be 100 feet in diameter. and when they get closer to the surface, the pressure inside these gas bubbles is so great that they blow off the magma that is ahead of them, and then they release the gas. and that's a big sonic boom. >> pelley: look at the earth just erupting up into the sky. unbelievable. this is a great place to explain exactly where volcanoes happen on the earth. the crust of the earth, of course, is fractured like a broken mirror. and it's fractured into about 15 major plates called tectonic plates. volcanoes happen all around the edges where the earth's crust is fractured. and here in iceland, a major line runs right through the middle of the island, and the two plates are breaking apart. and that's exactly what you see behind me now.
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>> no, no you don't see... >> pelley: or not. what ruined our view was steam-- it was exploding everywhere that the lava hit the ice. the ancient glacier was melting in a flash flood, carving canyons into the mountain. the thermal shock also lofted a fine black ash that covered farms for miles. they call it ash, but it really feels like sand. in iceland, volunteers come out from the cities to help farmers dig out. these were bankers who brought their shovels from the capital, reykjavik. it was this ash that made eyjafjallajokull the most disruptive eruption in years. the ash billowed up nearly 33,000 feet and drifted 1,000 miles over europe. 100,000 flights were cancelled, ten million people were stranded for a week.
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still, volcanologist haraldur sigurdsson told us that kind of trouble is nothing compared to eruptions elsewhere in the recent past. >> sigurdsson: and the best example of that occurred in 1815, when there was an eruption in tambora volcano in indonesia. and a big, explosive eruption sent out an ash cloud up to about 30 miles. and it dispersed very widely. and also, a lot of sulfur came out of this volcano, and that led to global cooling, and produced what is known as the year without a summer in new england, in north america. >> pelley: the year without a summer? >> sigurdsson: year without a summer, in 1816. >> pelley: because of this one volcanic eruption? >> sigurdsson: on the other side of the earth. and that type of event will occur again. that eruption also led to big migrations out of central europe into russia and great disturbances worldwide. >> pelley: which volcano on earth would you say is most dangerous to people?
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>> sigurdsson: the volcano that... where there is a very large population adjacent to it and on it, and that's vesuvius, in italy. >> pelley: vesuvius is our second stop. and you might think, if anyone knew better than to live by a volcano, it would be the people around the most infamous mountain of all time. but today, in southern italy, a metropolis spreads within striking distance of vesuvius. >> mike sheridan: nobody wants to believe that the area that they live in could kill them. >> pelley: we went for a look, up close with american volcanologist mike sheridan. we flew over the cinder cone on the helicopters of the guardia di finanza, a police force that helps keep watch over the mountain. vesuvius is sheridan's life's work, and he has warned the government it can't count on evacuating the number of people in harm's way. and what is that number? >> sheridan: well, it depends on
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the type of explosion. if there's one like the last big eruption that occurred in 1631, there would be about 600,000 people. but if it is an eruption like the 2,000-year-ago eruption that destroyed pompeii, the number could be up to 3.5 million. >> pelley: pompeii, as it was august 24, 79 a.d., the moment it was preserved under more than ten feet of ash and rock. the boulevards, the homes, the mosaics are the volcano's contribution to history. around here, they do a lively business in the dead. citizens of pompeii are frozen in timeless agony. about 16,000 were killed, sculpted where they fell. scientists have a good idea of what these people saw after studying the evidence of what remains. witnesses described the mountain rumbling for days before it
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launched a column of ash and rock 12 miles high, which fell back as hell on earth. the wind came shooting down the sides of the mountain at more than 200 miles an hour. the air temperature was about 900 degrees, and the ash that fell throughout the region left this part of italy uninhabitable for 300 years. today, from this control room, volcanologist giuseppe mastrolorenzo monitors the instruments that will provide italy's early warning. he showed us those three and a half million people that all crowd around the cinder cone. one day, it may be up to him to sound the alarm. how much time will you have? >> giuseppe mastrolorenzo: probably just a few days. we can just hope that we will have weeks or months, but we cannot make a contract with a volcano.
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>> pelley: so your friends say, "look, it hasn't erupted in hundreds of years." and you must say, "that's the problem." >> mastrolorenzo: that's the problem. i'm trying to convince the people that this quiet mountain can be a killer. >> pelley: at the base of the "quiet mountain," the peaceful piazza of torre del greco is wiped out, on average, about once every 100 years, give or take. the bell tower survived the eruption of 1794. and today, old men rest their feet on rock solid evidence of what's coming next. michael sheridan told us that vesuvius has a very long life ahead of it. >> sheridan: it's pattern is complex. it has different personalities, and the last personality was rather benign, but it's got some mean personalities down there that we don't want to experience in our lifetime. >> pelley: there are bigger personalities among volcanoes
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which scientists call super- volcanoes. remember our eruption in iceland was a four on a scale of eight? well, an eight would change life on earth. haraldur sigurdsson told us there is a name for one of the places where that is likely to happen. it's called yellowstone national park, our third volcano. old faithful is here for a reason. in the northwest corner of wyoming, the caldera is about 50 miles wide, so big that you can't see it from the ground. below is what science calls a hotspot, where a vast plume of magma has pushed into the crust. >> sigurdsson: the floor of the volcano is breathing like an animal. it's rising, and moving up and down. because of magma inside the volcano. >> pelley: what's the history of eruption of the hotspot in yellowstone? >> sigurdsson: the last eruption
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was about 400,000 years ago, the last big one. that was a devastating, explosive eruption. the yellowstone-size eruption will occur. of course, we have no idea when. it's being monitored very, very closely. so there is no chance of it occurring without any warning. but it's a devastating event. >> pelley: devastating to aviation, communications and agriculture, volcanoes can change the course of history. never before have so many people lived within striking distance-- 200 million worldwide. science is good at warning of eruptions that are weeks away, but beyond that, it's impossible to predict which one is next or how big it will be. >> hear scott pelley's other thoughts about standing at the
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>> pelley: i'm scott pelley. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." captioning funded by cbs and ford captioned by media access group at wgbh ♪ [ telephone rings ] how's the camping trip? well, the kids had fun, but i think i slept on a rock. ♪ the best part of wakin' up what are you doing? having coffee. ohh. ♪ is folgers in your cup having coffee. ohh. thank ythank you for defendiyour sacrifice. and thank you for your bravery. thank you colonel. thank you daddy. military families are uniquely thankful for many things, the legacy of usaa auto insurance can be one of them. if you're a current or former military member or their family, get an auto insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life. [ male announcer ] hurry in for savings. get 10-30% off major appliances $399 or more, plus 18 months special financing
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captioning funded by cbs >> previously on "big brother", devin's erratic behavior started to worry his bomb sqad allies. >> devin is acting like a loose canon. >> you are a mess. >> he is having paranoid delusions, having devin in your life is no bueno. >> but when he swerved up paranoia about donny. >> i think he's playing dumb or is stronger than he is. >> you won't wear fat agencies unless you served. >> devin's conscience started to get to him. >> my heart keeps telling me that you were in the military. >> i will feel really bad if that hedonny is e says he is. >> after joey became the bomb squad's target. >> joey, you know, i'm


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