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1

But experts are much like normal people: they routinely overestimate the likelihood that they’re right.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

2

And it means that attempting to “chase the expert,” looking for the one man who will have the answers to an organization’s problem, is a waste of time.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

3

cognitive diversity is essential to good decision making.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

4

Deliberation in a groupthink setting has the disturbing effect not of opening people’s minds but of closing them.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

5

When the pressure to conform is at work, a person changes his opinion not because he actually believes something different but because it’s easier to change his opinion than to challenge the group.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

6

Every move an ant makes depends on what its fellow ants do, and an ant cannot act independently, which would help break the march to death.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

7

people—unlike a colony of ants—is far more likely to come up with a good decision if the people in the group are independent of each other.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

8

One of the quickest ways to make people’s judgments systematically biased is to make them dependent on each other for information.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

9

The smartest groups, then, are made up of people with diverse perspectives who are able to stay independent of each other.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

10

the more influence a group’s members exert on each other, and the more personal contact they have with each other, the less likely it is that the group’s decisions will be wise ones.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

11

That means it’s possible that we could become individually smarter but collectively dumber.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

12

“conventional wisdom” is not the same as “collective wisdom.”)

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

13

Under those conditions, sticking with the crowd and failing small, rather than trying to innovate and run the risk of failing big, makes not just emotional but also professional sense. This is the phenomenon that’s sometimes called herding.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

14

So relying on only your private information to make a decision guarantees that it will be less informed than it could be.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

15

The problem starts when people’s decisions are not made all at once but rather in sequence,

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

16

(although it is true that we would make better collective decisions if we all stopped taking only our friends’ advice).

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

17

imitation is a kind of rational response to our own cognitive limits.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

18

groups are better at deciding between possible solutions to a problem than they are at coming up with them. Invention may still be an individual

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

19

They overestimate their ability, their level of knowledge, and their decision-making prowess.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

20

But it is good for society as a whole, because overconfident people are less likely to get sucked into a negative information cascade, and, in the right circumstances, are even able to break cascades.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

21

the more important the decision, the less likely a cascade is to take hold.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

22

If you want to improve an organization’s or an economy’s decision making, one of the best things you can do is make sure, as much as possible, that decisions are made simultaneously (or close to it) rather than one after the other.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

23

Encouraging people to make incorrect guesses actually made the group as a whole smarter.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

24

One key to successful group decisions is getting people to pay much less attention to what everyone else is saying.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

25

The idea of the wisdom of crowds also takes decentralization as a given and a good, since it implies that if you set a crowd of self-interested, independent people to work in a decentralized way on the same problem, instead of trying to direct their efforts from the top down, their collective solution is likely to be better than any other solution you could come up with.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

26

Tacit knowledge is knowledge that can’t be easily summarized or conveyed to others, because it is specific to a particular place or job or experience,

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

27

closer a person is to a problem, the more likely he or she is to have a good solution to it.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

28

where Moses’ father-in-law counseled him to judge only in “great matter[s]” and to leave all other decisions to local rulers.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

29

Decentralization’s great weakness is that there’s no guarantee that valuable information which is uncovered in one part of the system will find its way through the rest of the system.

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

30

What you’d like is a way for individuals to specialize and to acquire local knowledge—which increases the total amount of information available in the system—while also being able to aggregate that local knowledge and private information into a collective whole,

The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

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