Re: Invitation to metadata dictionary wiki - meaningfuel.org
Klaus Backert wrote: > Let's assume: I have to go to a hospital to get a surgical treatment. > Then I'm inside the operational theater. On the one side there is a > "well educated and credential" surgeon. On the other side there ist a > "self-selected group of people interested enough in surgical tools to > participate in a discussion of surgical tools". Whom will I count on, > when it comes to the selection of the proper surgical tool for treating ME? I don't know who you'd pick, but I'd put more faith in the self-selected group. This is the stunning revelation of Wikipedia, open source, and the Net: the wisdom of the self-selected crowd is usually better than the wisdom of the single expert. There are all sorts of caveats you can put on that. For instance, I'd be quite concerned if the self-selected crowd were only employees of a single manufacturer of surgical tools. I'd also be concerned if the single expert had been extensively winded and dined by that same manufacturer. I don't happen to know if surgical tools vendors do this or not. Drug companies, however, certainly do this with a documented negative effect on patient treatment. Frankly it's harder to bias a group acting together than individuals acting singly. I don't think I would have believed this a few years ago myself, but I've seen too much evidence lately of the effectiveness of this approach to deny it. Perhaps this is just another variation of the invisible hand of the market Adam Smith write about two centuries ago. More likely, but the the invisible hand of the market, the superior wisdom of Wikipedia, and the ability to count jelly beans by averaging guesses are specific instances of a more general principle about the wisdom of crowds. A thermodynamics of sociology perhaps? -- ï»¿Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo@m... XML in a Nutshell 3rd Edition Just Published! http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xian3/ http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0596007647/cafeaulaitA/ref=nosim
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