It started with an ox. New Yorker staff writer James Surowiecki tells the old story involving the British scientist, Francis Galton, who assembled a diverse group of people to guess the weight of an ox. Turned out the group's average was on target. It's a testament to the wisdom of a crowd, right? But are crowds always wiser than individuals? Surowiecki explains.
If groups are more the wiser, you might ask, how come the "crowd" failed to call the economic crisis? Should we ignore investment advice that's doled out to the masses, a la Jim Cramer? It's awfully difficult to resist the human tendency to bandwagon.
Surowiecki also offers practical tips for how displaced workers can stay competitive in the bleak job market. Sometimes the loose connections you have on the Internet are the ones that matter most.