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Thursday, August 12, 2004

great discourse on group dynamics....

the Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki. just read it. he makes the point - in short - that diverse groups of people (crowds), regardless of how uninformed they are, are the best way to get the best answers and make the wisest decisions. i liked it and to be honest (as i "read" this in audible format) i kept drifting from time to time so i will definitely go through it again albeit selectively.

the book contains a ton of anecdotes and examples (and i got the abridged edition too!) like the fact that 40% of Americans polled during the height of the cold war thought the Soviet Union was a member of NATO but then goes on to prove that this is immaterial in the larger scheme of things.
it actually got me thinking about how the theory would stand up in a place like kuwait? i had somewhat assumed that the country's democracy was vibrant yet its individual constituents lacked the decision-making skills (i.e. education) to make wise decisions. there is also the tendency to value selfish short-term interests over the more salient long-term interests of the society which the author also touches on in a way (via his Enron example). i think his book has quite a few useful insights on tweaking any consensus-based system....


  • Heh, funny that you mention that. I have an entry on Extreme Democracy on how we can change that.

    Oh and can I get a copy of that?

    By Blogger nibaq, at Friday, August 13, 2004 12:28:00 PM  

  • there are lots of interesting ideas floating out there on group dynamics, you should definately check out "group think," which is one of the pitfalls of group decisions. it got popular explaining some of the bad decisions of the jfk adminsitration (like bay of pigs).

    I also read something REAAAAAAL interesting on corporations using markets in making decisions. potential decisions are traded as "stock" by employees in a company and at the end of trading the highest valued stock wins, and employees you bought that "stock" are rewarded.


    By Blogger poiwer, at Friday, August 13, 2004 5:02:00 PM  

  • I added an extra http in the my earlier post.

    Here it is fixed

    By Blogger nibaq, at Friday, August 13, 2004 6:08:00 PM  

  • Your site and the work you do looks impressive. I have a businesssite. It covers business related things.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, November 15, 2005 10:06:00 PM  

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