Learning based on crowd wisdom
January 23, 2012
by LIOR ZOREF @lior
In the past, when I was interested in learning about my area of interest, I would have put time and effort searching for sources to learn from. Starting with a search online, reading magazines, professional literature and looking for courses and specialists in the subject matter.
Today, I find myself learning in completely new way.
As you know, My research area is crowd wisdom.
Because you know this, many of you write to me and tell me about new studies, articles that relate to the subject and anything which in your opinion can teach me.
And so, I find myself almost every day with a new post on my facebook wall, a message on twitter or an e-mail from someone directing my attention to something I should learn.
For me this is a new way to learn. Instead of searching for the information, the information comes to me.
Here’s an example of an e-mail I got recently from the retired judge Avigdor Salton who has taught me the connection between crowd wisdom and the judiciary system in the USA:
From: Avigdor Salton
Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 3:48 PM
To: Lior Zoref
Subject: Crowd Wisdom
Dear Mr. Zoref,
This morning I had seen channel 10 and so I got introduced to you and to TED.
On your site you had asked for proposals and comments, among others, to your TED talk.
Therefore, to support the idea of crowd wisdom I would like to take you to the legal world.
In states where the system is of judging with the aid of a Jury (such as England and USA), the basic idea is that the crowd (for our subject=the jury) is not less talented than a judge to test and determine facts (as opposed to determining the legal result of a professional judge who is familiar with the law which needs to be enacted on the concrete case), since a judge is a normal human being.
And so, the jury system still exists these days.
The Jewish American judge, Samuel Leibowitz, in the biographical book “Courtroom” written by the journalist Quentin Reynolds, tells that he use to keep records of the results of the jury in the criminal cases he was judging, and found that in most cases (if I am not mistaken – close to 95%) the result is same to the result the jury !
This is to teach you, that crowd wisdom is just as good as a professional judge.
I wish you luck in your journey,