Dangers of your society

Ideally, we adjust ourselves for the better instead of for the worse. Unfortunately, we are prone to adjusting ourselves for the worse.

  1. Madness of the crowd
  2. Bubbles
  3. Mass delusions of some sort

"First, as evidenced by Galton’s ox story, democratic decision-making works well when each individual first arrives at his or her conclusion independently. It’s the moment that people start influencing each other beforehand that a crowd can run into trouble."

"The researchers found that, as the amount of information participants were given about each others guesses increased, the range of their guesses got narrower, and the centre of this range could drift further from the true value. In other words, the groups were tending towards a consensus, to the detriment of accuracy."

"This finding challenges a common view in management and politics that it is best to seek consensus in group decision making. What you can end up with instead is herding towards a relatively arbitrary position."

"In the days of Facebook filter bubbles and carefully selected TV news pundits, it may now be harder than ever for our ideas to be truly independent, which could hobble our combined intelligence. But fortunately, these results show that we can still harness the wisdom of the crowds, we just need to invite a little dissent into our ranks."

— When Does the Wisdom of the Crowds Turn Into the Madness of the Mob?

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