The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few Audiobook | James Surowiecki | Audible.com
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The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few | [James Surowiecki]

The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few

In this endlessly fascinating book, New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea that has profound implications: large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant. Groups are better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.
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Publisher's Summary

In this endlessly fascinating book, New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea that has profound implications: large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant. Groups are better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.

This seemingly counterintuitive notion has endless and major ramifications for how businesses operate, how knowledge is advanced, how economies are (or should be) organized, and how we live our daily lives. With seemingly boundless erudition and in delightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, economic behaviorism, artificial intelligence, military history, and political theory to show just how this principle operates in the real world.

Despite the sophistication of his arguments, Surowiecki presents them in a wonderfully entertaining manner. The examples he uses are all down-to-earth, surprising, and fun to ponder. Why is the line in which you're standing always the longest? Why is it that you can buy a screw anywhere in the world and it will fit a bolt bought ten-thousand miles away? Why is network television so awful? If you had to meet someone in Paris on a specific day but had no way of contacting them, when and where would you meet? Why are there traffic jams? What's the best way to win money on a game show? Why, when you walk into a convenience store at 2:00 A.M. to buy a quart of orange juice, is it there waiting for you? What do Hollywood mafia movies have to teach us about why corporations exist?

The Wisdom of Crowds is a brilliant but accessible biography of an idea, one with important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, conduct our business, and think about our world.

©2004 James Surowiecki; (P)2004 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"Surowiecki's style is pleasantly informal, a tactical disguise for what might otherwise be rather dense material. He offers a great introduction to applied behavioral economics and game theory." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Steven Laguna Hills, CA, USA 09-16-04
    Steven Laguna Hills, CA, USA 09-16-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "the wisdom of crowds"

    compilation of many facts that were worth consideration. Found the book good, not great. I would buy another with the same principles.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsey SuttonUnited Kingdom 06-05-05
    Lindsey SuttonUnited Kingdom 06-05-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining nonfiction"

    I was entertained and informed. There were new ideas for me, as I haven't read or studied in this area, and it was presented well enough to follow in audio. I missed being able to go back and go over an idea or conclusion again- I'm using the Cretive Muvo for audible books and if a lorry passes you and you miss a bit your choices are to listen to the whole book again or miss that section for ever.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Aliquippa, PA, USA 09-27-04
    Glenn Aliquippa, PA, USA 09-27-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
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    "Waiting for Volume 2"

    What a great treat this book was. I had no particular expectations of this book and was pleased when it it drew me in, chapter after chapter. The amount of reference material the book relies on gives it a sturdy quality. The conclusions presented were, in my mind, reasonable.

    I was sorry the book ended as quickly as it did. I can think of many more things I'd like this author's take on.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arif Washington, DC, United States 08-28-04
    Arif Washington, DC, United States 08-28-04
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    "Excellent Book"

    Fantastic and fascinating book. Recommended for anyone who likes counterintuitive analysis.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    03-13-10
    03-13-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Did not succeed to capture my atention"

    I had some fund listing to maybe the first half, but then this book started to feel repetitive and I lost interest.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Wynnewood, PA, USA 02-11-05
    Paul Wynnewood, PA, USA 02-11-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good read, great Ideas"

    Enjoyed it from front to back. Theory and anecdote blend well to introduce important and powerful ideas. Made me think. Doesn't get much better than that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bernard Altamonte Springs, FL, USA 01-01-05
    Bernard Altamonte Springs, FL, USA 01-01-05 Member Since 2001
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    "An Excellent Book"

    I found this book to be a very interesting look into how the many are smarter than the few. The author presents a large amount of material with a crisp pen and brief writing style.

    This work distills the research of many scientists and authors into a very readable text that explains some of the social phenomenae we experience every day.

    This is a book that I wanted tell people about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Birmingham, AL, United States 11-08-04
    Lawrence Birmingham, AL, United States 11-08-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Wisdom of Crowds"

    A rare bird, this book lives up to its hype. The examples and breadth of subject matter is breathtaking. Surely this must have taken years to write. The breakdown of categories is a marvel. It has moved me to rethink a world of assumptions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ulrich munich, NY, USA 07-11-04
    Ulrich munich, NY, USA 07-11-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good food for thought"

    The author does a good job in compiling many examples of his theory, that groups decide in a better way than its individuals. Entertaining, yet scientific. The only disadvantage: It's so much stuff, that it's hard to recall all the arguments after listening for hours. Anyway, I would certainly recommend this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. C. Horn San Francisco, Ca. United States 07-08-04
    M. C. Horn San Francisco, Ca. United States 07-08-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
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    "I wish I could give negative stars"

    This book has actually made me so angry in reading it that I'm having trouble writing a fair assessment of it. The authors assessment for the "wisdom of crowds" was judged by the fact that if you average people's guesses at the numbers of marbles in a jar, it comes to be rather close. Fine for guessing marbles in a jar, but real world applications of this type of thinking is flawed and arguments for it are left wanting. A good half the arguments he develops in the book are about the stupidity of crowds; leaving me wondering why I even bothered with his trite analysis of "funny and amusing sociological data" The author's world is a sterile and joyless place where the reality of his ideas are about as exciting as this read. The last time I checked "crowds" haven't written any great books, created any symphonies or inspired me to any level like an individual could.

    13 of 20 people found this review helpful
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