• ignorance,  politics

    Blair, crowds and Iraq

    (I'm finding some old posts I didn't get around to finishing, so hence not as current as it could be). In his book The Wisdom of Crowds, James Suriowecki argues that often the ‘dumb’ crowd makes smarter decisions than the informed experts. This has been taken to mean that the mob is always smart, which we know isn't true. But what is interesting to me is the reason why Suriowecki's examples work. I think it's because the crowd operates with less information, and there are times when this is actually beneficial (although usually one wants more information). Let us take an important example in recent history – the decision to…