James Surowiecki: The power and the danger of online crowds | Talk Video | TED.com.
One of the fundamental characteristics of a network is that, once you are linked in the network, the network starts to shape your views and starts to shape your interactions with everybody else. That’s one of the things that defines what a network is. A network is not just the product of its component parts. It is something more than that. It is, as Steven Johnson has talked about, an emergent phenomenon. Now, this has all these benefits: it’s very beneficial in terms of the efficiency of communicating information; it gives you access to a whole host of people; it allows people to coordinate their activities in very good ways. But the problem is that groups are only smart when the people in them are as independent as possible. This is the paradox of the wisdom of crowds, or the paradox of collective intelligence, that what it requires is actually a form of independent thinking. And networks make it harder for people to do that,because they drive attention to the things that the network values.
14:25So, one of the phenomena that’s very clear in the blogosphere is that once a meme, once an idea gets going, it is very easy for people to just sort of pile on, because other people have, say, a link. People have linked to it, and so other people in turn link to it, etc., etc. And that phenomenon of piling on the existing links is one that is characteristic of the blogosphere, particularly of the political blogosphere, and it is one that essentially throws off this beautiful, decentralized, bottom-up intelligence that blogs can manifest in the right conditions.
I suspect that in a while we’ll just call self-driving cars by their name today; cars.
There’s an idea out there that The American Family will buy a self-driving car to replace their old boring human-driven car. I don’t think it will happen that way.
Steve Coast link to the rest of this very interesting blog. Steve Coast is the founder of the Open Street Map Project.
The link below takes you to a website where you can create an Endnote account. It has limited functionality but is a good introduction to how multimedia and cloud computing can be used to enhance the process of conducting academic research.