The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations

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Synopsis

In this fascinating book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea: 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.

With boundless erudition and in delightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, ant biology, behavioral economics, artificial intelligence, military history, and politics to show how this simple idea offers important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, run our companies, and think about our world.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About James Surowiecki

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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.
 
Published August 16, 2005 by Anchor. 336 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Science & Math, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Wisdom of Crowds

The New York Times

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The market is a mechanism for translating ''the wisdom of crowds'' into optimal results, though things would probably improve if business leaders were a little less prone to thinking that, as Margaret Thatcher once put it, ''There is no such thing as society.'' Whether Surowiecki's book will prev...

May 22 2004 | Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

The Guardian

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The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki 295pp, Little, Brown, £16.99 Who wants to be average?

Aug 07 2004 | Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

Publishers Weekly

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While our culture generally trusts experts and distrusts the wisdom of the masses, New Yorker business columnist Surowiecki argues that "under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them."

| Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

BC Books

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How can a crowd correctly guess the number of beans in a jar, time after time, far more accurately than the average of the best guesser?

Aug 03 2005 | Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

Gather Books

If you put together a big enough and diverse enough group of people and ask them to 'make decisions affecting matters of general interest," that group's decisions will, over time, be 'intellectually [superior] to the isolated individual,' no matter how smart or how well informed he is."

May 29 2007 | Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

BellaOnline

However, if groups can somehow avoid this, they may be very successful: “nonpolarized groups consistently make better decisions and come up with better answers than most of their members, and surprisingly often the group outperforms even its best member.” Surowiecki contends “the best way f...

| Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

Daily Kos

And for those saying that I am advocating violence - I counter that the violence is already here - in Iraq, in New Orleans, in our workplaces.

Jan 10 2007 | Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

The Millions

Certainly, though, anyone with a passing interest in economics – and especially the behavioral aspects of economics – will enjoy the book, but it fails to compete with the genre’s better examples.

Jul 22 2005 | Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

Bookmarks Magazine

Bill Day NY Times Book Review 3 of 5 Stars "[Surowiecki] has a knack for translating the most algebraic of research papers into bright expository prose—though the swarm of anecdotes at times makes it difficult to follow the progress of his argument.

Oct 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

National Review Online

was a way for Congress to keep the President accountable.” This is the opposite of the truth: The debt ceiling was not a new constraint on anyone’s ability to borrow, and there was no need to “keep the President accountable” regarding debt, because the Constitution does not give the president the...

Jul 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

The Motley Fool

In his 2004 book The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki posed a rather radical point of view: that the madness of crowds is overrated, and that oftentimes, the crowd is actually surprisingly correct.

Sep 14 2006 | Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

Stanford Social Innovation Review

The secret to success in dealing with a crowd is learning how to tap into their energy, enthusiasm, and talents.

Feb 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

LV Revealed

The first group is random sports fans, the second group is a random sampling of sports bettors, and the third group is the same group of sports bettors, except their votes are weighted by their bet size.

Aug 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the...

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