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Re: Invitation to metadata dictionary wiki - meaningfuel.org


claim jellybeans
Well, Vladimir,

Am 28.01.2006 um 19:07 schrieb Vladimir Gapeyev:

>
>
> On Fri, 27 Jan 2006, Klaus Backert wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>> Am 26.01.2006 um 23:06 schrieb Nathan Young -X ((natyoung -  
>> Artizen at Cisco)):
>>> A famous early example of wisdom of the crowds was done on a  
>>> "guess the
>>> number of jellybeans" contest.  The average guess was much better  
>>> than
>>> any of the individual guesses.  The simplicity of this masks the  
>>> fact
>>> that "average" is an algorithm that encodes the rule "people will  
>>> err on
>>> the high side as much as they will err on the low side".  The  
>>> algorithm
>>> only works as well as the rule applies.
>>
>> In the case of tasks much more complicated than a jellybeans  
>> contest it may and should be different: An expert performs better  
>> than the average in the not so short run. There are a lot of  
>> complicated tasks in business today, where the crowd is simply not  
>> competent. This encodes the rule "experts will be correct on the  
>> high side consistently". BTW so called political experts, as an  
>> example, don't count as experts for me ;-)
>
> About everyone is an expert in guessing the number of jellybeans,  
> so what you say isn't an argument against the claim that a crowd of  
> experts is better than any single one of them.  Does anybody in  
> their sober mind suggests pitting "wisdom" of a _random_ crowd  
> against an expert?  (Ok, democratic elections do not count ;-)
>
> --vg

sorry, I still think I've made a sound argument. The point is the  
complicatedness of the task.

I've had several bad experiences in my business. There have been just  
crowds of experts, partly self-selected, partly selected by managers.  
"Everybody" around thought of them as experts too. But the projects  
crashed.

Additional to the complicatedness of the task:

An important part of the problem is responsibility. Generally groups  
are not really held responsible, only single persons are.

Another part of the problem is being able making decisions. Experts  
are not - just because they are experts - able to make decisions in a  
group. It needs more (a project manager, a supervisor, a moderator,  
special training, ...?).

Group size counts too, as I have experienced again and again. Up to  
about six experts are able to decide. But, as I think and have  
experienced: Up to about six persons in a group act as single  
persons, not as a "crowd" (e.g. they look into each others eyes). The  
crowds of 10, 20, 30 persons, I've experienced, have been just ...  
well ... %#&@. In a big enough crowd, even in a crowd of experts, the  
single person acts different and not very reasonable. Me too, BTW :-(

Finally, remember the discussions about "design by commitee", which  
have appeared several times on this XML-Dev mailinglist. I think  
there is evidence against the plain - I say: plain! - wisdom of a  
crowd of experts.

But I think too: It may and should work under certain preconditions.  
I'm optimistic out of experience.

Klaus

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