All in all, I would argue that the new “collective wisdom” is not just the old one writ large. The Internet-based technological revolution that has taken place over the past twenty years is changing the reality of human affairs and interactions. The explosion of the literature on collective intelligence has already affected the way business and politics are conducted, spreading the view that, in an increasingly complex and connected world, knowledge and smart solutions are more likely to emerge from the bottom up, among groups of regular people, than to be produced at the top by a few experts. It is now time for the theory to catch up with the practice. The goal of this edited volume is to go beyond the accumulation of anecdotes and vague intuitions about collective wisdom and to offer the first attempt at a systematic and scholarly inquiry into the nature of the phenomenon. The focus is more specifically on the “principles” and “mechanisms” of collective wisdom. Very roughly speaking, one can say that the principles are at least two: individual intelligence (or, depending on the contributors, ability, sophistication, or epistemic competence) and cognitive diversity. The mechanisms involved are many (also depending on what the contributors mean by “mechanisms”), but they roughly fall into either of two categories: deliberative practices, on the one hand, and aggregation procedures that do not require actual communication or an exchange of views among the participants, such as information markets and voting, on the other. The volume also includes contributions concerned with applications and institutional design.
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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