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The Wisdom of Crowds

  • Jun 5, 2008 · 8:00 PM
  • Butler's Pantry

For the month of June the group has voted on "The wisdom of Crowds" by James Surowiecki The book is available in the library and most book stores. The book is a comfortable read at 271 pages. Why the Many are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations "The Wisdom of Crowds is dazzling. It is one of those books that will turn your world upside down. It;s an adventure story, a manifesto, and the most brilliant book on business, society, and everyday life that I've read in years." - Malcolm Gladwell, author of the tipping point Back Cover "No one in this world, so far as I know, has ever lost money by underestimation the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." - H.L. Mencken H.L. Mencken was wrong. In this endlessly fascinating book, New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea that has profound implications: Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant-better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future. This seemingly counterintuitive notion has endless and major ramifications for how businesses operate, how knowledge is advanced, how economies are (or should be) organized, and how e live our daily lives. With seemingly boundless erudition and indelightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, ant biology, economic behaviorism, artificial intelligence, military history, and political theory to show just how this principle operates in the real world. Despite the sophistication of his arguments, Surowiecki presents them in a wonderfully entertaining manner. The examples he uses are all down-to-earth, surprising, and fun to ponder. Whey is the line in which you're standing always the longest? Why is it that you can buy a nut anywhere in the world and it will fit a bolt bought ten thousand miles away? Why is network television so awful? If you had to meet someone in Paris on a specific day but had no way of contacting her, when and where would you meet? Why are there traffic jams? What's the best way to win money on a game show? Why, when you walk into a convenience store at 2:00 A.M. to buy a quart of orange juice, is it there waiting for you? What do Hollywood mafia movies have to teach us about why corporations exist? The Wisdom of Crowds is a brilliant but accessible biography of an idea, one with important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, conduct our business, and think about our world. James Surowiecki is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he writes the popular business column,"The Financial Page." His work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Artforum, Wired, and Slate. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. As always, ask questions if you have them. Cheers, and enjoy the read Ian

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Fascinating book and well written. Enjoyed the unique examples the author used to illustrate when and when not many people are smarter than individuals.

    June 6, 2008

4 went

  • Ian +2
    Event Host
  • A former member

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