4 June 2011

The wisdom and foolishness of crowds

Be the first to share

Social influence
Experiments suggest that wisdom of the crowd can be countered by too much communication within that crowd.

“The wisdom of crowds turns out to be an incredibly fragile phenomenon. It doesn’t take much for the smart group to become a dumb herd. Worse, a new study by Swiss scientists suggests that the interconnectedness of modern life might be making it even harder to benefit from our collective intelligence. […]

This research reveals the downside of our hyperconnected lives. So many essential institutions depend on the ability of citizens to think for themselves, to resist the latest trend or bubble. That’s why it is important, as the Founding Fathers realized, to cultivate a raucous free press, full of divergent viewpoints.

And yet, while the Web has enabled new forms of collective action, it has also enabled new kinds of collective stupidity. Groupthink is now more widespread, as we cope with the excess of available information by outsourcing our beliefs to celebrities, pundits and Facebook friends. Instead of thinking for ourselves, we simply cite what’s already been cited.

We should be wary of such influences. The only way to preserve the wisdom of the crowd is to protect the independence of the individual.”

Read article

Be the first to share
2 February 2016
Do patients really want to be empowered?
Katherine Benjamin, digital services manager at NHS England, asks some clever questions in this Medium piece: "Digital health services and wearable technologies are meant to empower users to change behaviours and become better informed, more engaged …
24 January 2016
The grand illusion of empowerment
Financial times journalist/anthropologist Gillian Tett deconstructs the idea that the internet hands power to the people. In fact, she writes, in most countries power remains firmly in the hands of the elite. The bitter — and …
14 January 2016
Pritzker Prize winner brings communities into the design process
The radical Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, known for his pioneering social housing projects in Latin America, has been named as the winner of the 2016 Pritzker prize, the highest accolade in architecture. The 48-year-old, who is …
1 January 2016
Uday Dandavate: “stupidity wrapped in ignorance” underlies Facebook’s Free Basics program
Uday Dandavate, co-founder and CEO of design research company SonicRim, is appalled about Facebook pushing its Free Basics program in India, which he think is driven by "an attitude that represents stupidity wrapped in ignorance". …
31 December 2015
Ethno-writing about digital infrastructure
Data & Society is a NYC-based research institute focused on the social and cultural issues arising from data-centric technological development. The institute that was founded by danah boyd, principal researcher and Microsoft Research and frequently …
10 December 2015
Sharing City Seoul through the eyes of an urban sociologist
For several years, Shareable has followed, and reported on, Sharing City Seoul, a pioneering project, created by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. With its government-sponsored sharing economy initiatives and community projects, Seoul has become a global …
3 December 2015
Can “co-creation” help cities find a new way to solve their problems?
An increasing number of cities are using co-creation platforms to tackle challenging issues like mobility, air quality and urban regeneration too. The Nexthamburg project, for example, was launched in 2009 to source innovative and creative …
8 October 2015
Digital identity ecosystems in the context of Big data and mass surveillance
Research on Digital Identity Ecosystems by Francesca Bria, Gemma Galdon Clavell, Javier Ruiz, José María Zavala, Laura Fitchner, Harry Halpin D-CENT (Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies) 30 June 2015 D-CENT (a European research project on "Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies") …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

18 January 2016
Experientia website completely reshaped

Experientia is pleased to announce that we’ve started 2016 with a brand new website. Experientia’s now officially 10 years old, and we decided that the best way to celebrate is by building a new website that showcases our growth – with new projects, new people in the staff, and two new locations in Lausanne and […]

1 January 2016
For when things get personal…
13 October 2015
Experientia report: Design for ageing gracefully

Design for Ageing Gracefully Rethinking Health and Wellness for the Elderly: Public Services Asian Insights & Design Innovation, DesignSingapore Council October 2015

29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness

As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council on understanding how the elderly interact with public services and how we can look towards improving their lives with design. […]

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

See all articles