The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many are Smarter Than the Few and how Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations
“No one in this world, so far as I know, has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.” —H. L. Mencken
H. L. Mencken was wrong.
In this endlessly fascinating book,New Yorkercolumnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea that has profound implications: large groups of people aresmarterthan an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.
This seemingly counterintuitive notion has endless and major ramifications for how businesses operate, how knowledge is advanced, how economies are (or should be) organized and how we live our daily lives. With seemingly boundless erudition and in delightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, ant biology, economic behaviorism, artificial intelligence, military history and political theory to show just how this principle operates in the real world.
Despite the sophistication of his arguments, Surowiecki presents them in a wonderfully entertaining manner. The examples he uses are all down-to-earth, surprising, and fun to ponder. Why is the line in which you’re standing always the longest? Why is it that you can buy a screw anywhere in the world and it will fit a bolt bought ten-thousand miles away? Why is network television so awful? If you had to meet someone in Paris on a specific day but had no way of contacting them, when and where would you meet? Why are there traffic jams? What’s the best way to win money on a game show? Why, when you walk into a convenience store at 2:00 A.M. to buy a quart of orange juice, is it there waiting for you? What do Hollywood mafia movies have to teach us about why corporations exist?
The Wisdom of Crowdsis a brilliant but accessible biography of an idea, one with important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, conduct our business, and think about our world.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
The Wisdom of Crowds falls into the same genre as Freakonomics and Malcolm Gladwell's books, a fascinating collection of interesting stories, studies and anecdotes toward a general premise. Surowiecki is a little more academic in writing style then the others above, but there is also a lot more information in this book then in some of the others. The basic idea is that we are smart as a group then we are individually. He's not advocating "group think" (one of the negative manifestations of collective decision making), but rather intentional collecting of individual decisions. An example of this is your typical "guess the number of jelly beans" contest. Studies show that if you take the average of all the guesses made will be closer then the vast majority of the individual answers, and closer over a series of contests then any individuals guesses. Time and again the research shows that if we can intelligently coordinate a "crowd", their decisions will be better then the "experts" every time. Surowiecki gives examples from all over and discusses things like the stock market, traffic patterns, CEOs, and sports. If you've read any of Malcolm Gladwell or Freakonomics, you'll definitely enjoy The Wisdom of Crowds.
Review: The Wisdom of CrowdsUser Review - Goodreads
James Surowiecki argues that there are 3 types of problems for which crowds, under the right circumstances, may be able to offer better solutions than individuals, even experts: Cognition ...
The Wisdom of Crowds
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The Wisdom of Crowds - Business Book Summaries - Portfolio.com
Title: The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economics, Societies and Nations Author: James ...
www.portfolio.com/ resources/ business-intelligence/ book-summary/ wisdom_of_crowds
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Wednesday 2nd June 2004 11:43 AM [General]. An intriguing article over at Wired by James Surowiecki, author of “The Wisdom of Crowds”: ...
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