An easy-to-read and though-provoking book about collective intelligent. It stresses, provided the crowd is independent and diversified, that the crowd can deduce better decision than the average individual.
The concept is similar to the one proposed in another book, The Starfish and the Spider. The catch is that when there are too many people buying the same argument/decision, it creates the social interdependence that breaks the accuarcy of this theory.
Why? One reason is the so called social proof. When the number of people in the bandwagon increase, the more general public it will attract, the less diverisified the group may become. Another point is called Infotmation Cascade. A few first-tryer may influence the public to a good or bad bandwagon. This is similar to the epidemics as mentioned in Tipping Point (mavens, connectors, salemen). Sometimes imatation is good, only if poeple do not follow mindlessly.
To have a good balance, there ought to be an effective means for individual contribution be made known at the global level. Or else the crowd are not aware of it and cannot collectively decide whether it is good or not.
Comparatively, the first half of the book on the basic advocation of crowd intelligent is more interesting than the second half on case study. Despite of this, this book gives fair perspective on different sides of the coins. It worths the time....Continua
The author suggests here that a bunch of dumb people actually can do better than 1 single genius. That is, 1+1=3!
But, it is with certain conditions:
1. The mass got to be big enough
2. Each person need to make independent decision, to avoid decision cascade
3. The mass should be diversify enough, to avoid group think.
This sound very good, and actually explained why deomcratic makes good sense, and why we should act as selfish as we can to create good market in this capitalist economy!
BUT, I am not convinced, at all!
The author able to quote a lot of very interesting examples to backup his book, but this is far from enough. I suppose any arguement can give quite some example if you are dig them out serious enough. What the author need to do is to provide a hypothesis! An explaination why 1+1=3 is working! This is something the author cannot do at all in this very thick book. But, this book should be published after "Fooled by Randomness", the author should know that seeing 20 million white swan does not rule out the possibility of black swan.........
Just smooth talk does not help to convince me....Continua