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Greg Jones

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Is there actually any wisdom displayed by the crowd? Or is it just the latest pet term to describe quantifiable results from chaos? .

Wisdom of the Crowd? Is the crowd capable of showing wisdom in literal terms or is the end result a chaotic decision that superficially resembles wisdom.

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    Jun 20 2012: Very interesting debate, however, most comments below seem to reflect the fact most are absolutely oblivious to the "Wisodom Of Crowds" as a phenomena.. pioneered by Sir Fancis Galton's findings at a fair!

    Sir Francis was himself convinced of what most are expressing below that crowds (and indeed the masses) were utterly unable to come to a good decision, with the examples of mobs, gangs etc.. He even went as far as denigrating democracy as a concept, however his findings that day changed his mind in an unexpected way...

    ^^ All this is in the book "The Wisdom Of Crowds" ..where it explains the key characteristics of a decision market :
    DIVERSITY, INDEPENDENCE & DECENTRALISATION

    >> the real key lies in satisfying these conditions.
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        Jun 26 2012: Hia,

        A great crowd would be one (according to the book) that is DIVERSE (as in not a specialised group of people such as just accountants or just children..)
        it would also have to be INDEPENDENT during the assessment (they don't share their information before congregating the info, the complete opposite of a jury).
        & finally DECENTRALIZED, not a crowd ordered about in a hierachical system..

        You can try it @ home lol : Get a big pot of sweets, get as many people as u can to assess how many there are in the pot (they must write it down, BUT NOT SHARE!!!) >> then count them urself, & make an average of the guesses ; According to theory the more participants u have, the more likely the average guess WILL BE CLOSER TO THE TRUTH than the best guess!!!

        Now is that not fascinating??
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        Jun 27 2012: A crowd doesn't necessarily have those pre requisites, infact, unless it's been well organized, it most likely won't.

        It's a strange phenomena.. no less interesting to observe than 'synchronicity' for example.. However the concept isn't mainstream for some reason?

        Yes, if we all guessed the answer to how many sweets (or anything else) there was in a jar, the more people participate, the more likely the AVERAGE will be the best bet! Most people don't know that!

        However, if people share their guesses, the average result goes way off.. which explains why just taking any disorganized crowd is a aimless debate...

        I reckon you would enjoy reading the book Myfanwy!
        c u
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        Jun 28 2012: it's called "Wisdom Of Crowds".. amazon has it.. u would be interested very much I's thinks

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