Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
|New from||Used from|
While our culture generally trusts experts and distrusts the wisdom of the masses, New Yorker business columnist Surowiecki argues that "under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them." To support this almost counterintuitive proposition, Surowiecki explores problems involving cognition (we're all trying to identify a correct answer), coordination (we need to synchronize our individual activities with others) and cooperation (we have to act together despite our self-interest). His rubric, then, covers a range of problems, including driving in traffic, competing on TV game shows, maximizing stock market performance, voting for political candidates, navigating busy sidewalks, tracking SARS and designing Internet search engines like Google. If four basic conditions are met, a crowd's "collective intelligence" will produce better outcomes than a small group of experts, Surowiecki says, even if members of the crowd don't know all the facts or choose, individually, to act irrationally. "Wise crowds" need (1) diversity of opinion; (2) independence of members from one another; (3) decentralization; and (4) a good method for aggregating opinions. The diversity brings in different information; independence keeps people from being swayed by a single opinion leader; people's errors balance each other out; and including all opinions guarantees that the results are "smarter" than if a single expert had been in charge. Surowiecki's style is pleasantly informal, a tactical disguise for what might otherwise be rather dense material. He offers a great introduction to applied behavioral economics and game theory.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
There are some very interesting points here, however some of the deductions the author makes are not valid. Some of his arguments are just logically fallacious.Published 7 days ago by Roddy Looney
This was the worst waste of time I have ever spent on a book. This guy is as goofy as a bed bug. His subject matter is that of the other ilk authors who 'praise it'... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Robert K. Waitt Esq.
I have seen this book cited many times so I figured I better read it. Great read. Great incite. It will no doubt continue to be cited for years to come.Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
I sensed a lot of confirmation bias in the stories to suit the core concept. However the phenomenon of wisdom of the crowds is very well explained with an easy to understand... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rohit Amberker
Interesting about how collective knowledge and opinions outsmart the smartest person!Published 1 month ago by Eraldo
Great read. Powerful idea. Strongly supported with concrete examples. Written in a way that keeps you interested from beginning to end without dead spots. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Luis Miguel Freire
The premise of the book, as many reviewers have pointed out, seems almost banally simplistic; that the average or aggregate answer from numbers of disparate but not totally... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Brian F.