Collective Intelligence: Wisdom Of The Crowds

The wisdom of the crowds.I’m here at NEASIS&T’sSocial Software, Libraries, and the Communities that (could) Sustain Them” event, presented by Steven Cohen.

He’s suggesting we read James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds.

Surowiecki first developed his ideas for Wisdom of Crowds in his “Financial Page” column of The New Yorker. Many critics found his premise to be an interesting twist on the long held notion that Americans generally question the masses and eschew groupthink. “A socialist might draw some optimistic conclusions from all of this,” wrote The New York Times. “But Surowiecki’s framework is decidedly capitalist.” Some reviewers felt that the academic language and business speak decreased the impact of the argument. Still, it’s a thought-provoking, timely book: the TV studio audience of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire guesses correctly 91 percent of the time, compared to “experts” who guess only 65 percent correctly. Keep up the good work, comrades.

(emphasis added)

I’ve seen the bolded text quoted before, and I’ve been quoting it myself a lot. I guess I’ve got to go find it.