The wisdom of crowds?

The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, was written by James Surowiecki to argue that decisions are often better made by a group than could have been made by any single member of the group (the whole group is smarter than even the smartest person in it). He does go on to say that it matters how the group is made up, that people in it should be allowed independence, diversity of opinion etc., rather than just advocating crowd psychology as the answer to everything. These democratic wiki days attribute a great deal of prestige to wisdom of the many, but I have to ask – is it at the expense of the individual? What if the crowd is wrong? What if there’s just a trend, or a panic, or pressure to conform? The Bible says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world.” I love that bit on Life of Brian when he shouts at the crowd, ‘You’re all individuals!’ Check out the […]