THE WISDOM OF CROWDS By James Surowiecki Reviewed by Geoffrey W. Sutton The next time you are part of a large group or crowd, have a look around. Would you trust them to make a wise decision on your behalf? How about guessing the weight of an ox after it has been slaughtered and dressed? James Surowiecki, staff writer for The New Yorker , begins his foray into collective intelligence by taking us back to century old findings by Sir Francis Galton. The crowd of 787 that Galton observed weighed in with an average ox weight guess of 1,197 pounds. The actual weight was 1,198. Not bad! Surowiecki’s thesis is that under certain conditions, a crowd is smarter than an individual is. The author divided the book into two parts. In the first part, readers will learn three types of problems that appear amenable to solutions by the wisdom of crowds followed by four important conditions. Part two contains examples of situations where collective wisdom has made a difference. The
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