The Dumbness of Crowds

Kathy Sierra, Creating Passionate Users, Jan 05, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

kathy Sierra makes the distinction I have been trying to get at with the recent discussion on groups and networks. "Art isn't made by committee. Great design isn't made by consensus. True wisdom isn't captured from a crowd. At least not when the crowd is acting as a single entity. Clearly there IS wisdom in the many as long as you don't 'poison' the crowd by forcing them to agree (voting doesn't mean agreeing)." See also Jay Cross, who reads into this some sort of competitive mantra. "I hereby give you permission to challenge other people's ways of thinking. Learning will emerge... Some people avoid conflict. They are called slow learners. " No, Jay, it's not about challenging - it's about sharing (challenging is 'push', sharing is 'pull'). As described by Graham Attwell. Not collaboration, but not competition either. Cooperation. Like the internet. See also Ewan McIntosh.
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