Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations
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 we live our daily lives. With seemingly boundless erudition and in delightfully 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. Why is the line in which you're standing always the longest? Why is it that you can buy a screw 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 them, 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.
"From the Trade Paperback edition."
"As entertaining and thought-provoking as The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.... The Wisdom of Crowds ranges far and wide." -"The Boston Globe""A fun, intriguing read-and a concept with enormous potential for CEOs and politicos alike." -"Newsweek""This book is not just revolutionary but essential reading for everyone."-"Christian Science Monitor""Provocative....Musters ample proof that the payoff from heeding collective intelligence is greater than many of us imagine." -"BusinessWeek""There's no danger of dumbing down for the masses who read this singular book." -"Entertainment Weekly""Clearly and persuasively written." -"Newsday""Convincingly argues that under the right circumstances, it's the crowd that's wiser than even society's smartest individuals. "New Yorker "business columnist Surowiecki enlivens his argument with dozens of illuminating anecdotes and case studies from business, social psychology, sports and everyday life." -"Entertainment Weekly""The author has a knack for translating the most algebraic of research papers into bright expository prose." -"The New York Times Book Review""Dazzling . . . 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 "Surowiecki's clear writing and well-chosen examples render complicated mathematical and sociological theories easy to grasp. . . . [His] accounts of how the wisdom of crowds has formed the world we live in will thrill trivia mavens-and may make a better investor (or football coach) out of anyone who takes its conclusions to heart." -"Time Out New York""This book should be in every thinking businessperson's library. Without exception." -Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do With My Life?
"Drawing from biology, behavioral economics, and computer science, Surowiecki offers answers to such timeless-and often rhetorical-quest
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