What's Next: The Idiocy of Crowds

Nov 27, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This article is getting some traction, but it would have been nice had the author taken the time to comprehend the theory he is criticizing. He writes, "The effectiveness of groups, teamwork, collaboration, and consensus is largely a myth. In many cases, individuals do much better on their own. Our bias toward groups is counterproductive." Well, I would certainly agree with him on groups. But that is not the structure Surowiecki describes, nor is it how social networks are characterized per Watts and others, a distinction I have tried to make clear (with indifferent success) in Groups and Networks. Via Seb Schmoller.
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