The Wisdom of Crowds
In this fascinating book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea: Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant–better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.
With boundless erudition and in delightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, ant biology, behavioral economics, artificial intelligence, military history, and politics to show how this simple idea offers important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, run our companies, and think about our world.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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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 ...
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