Metaknowledge

George Musser, Aeon, Jul 15, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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This essay makes one good point and a bunch of bad points. The good point is that the 'wisdom' in the wisdom of crowds isn't going to be taken merely by counting votes or taking averages. There's plenty of evidence that this is the case. The bad points are made around the idea that "some people’s judgments deserve greater weight than others," based on what the author calls "metaknowledge". The mistake being made here is in assuming that the purpose of the crowd is to 'select' some 'right answer' from a range of possibilities put forward by its members. But the wisdom of the crowd isn't in doing things like predicting winners of elections, counting jelly beans or even guessing correct scientific theories. The crowd has different knowledge from an individual's knowledge; it isn't just a reification some one smart person's point of view.

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