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Download Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, by James Surowiecki Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,202 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Surowiecki Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“No one in this world, so far as I know, has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.”  —H. L. Mencken
 
H. L. Mencken was wrong.

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—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, ant biology, 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.

Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Emily Erstine | 2/16/2014

    " The idea of the book, embodied within the seductive title, was more interesting than the actual content of the book, which was overall lackluster for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kylie | 2/16/2014

    " This book was not a very exciting read, and I think would have been better as a magazine article, but I'm glad I read it anyway because it did give me some ideas for how groups can make better decisions. Surowiecki says that given the right conditions a group will make better decisions than any individual in that group. The conditions are: diversity of opinion, independence of the members from each other, decentralization; and some way to aggregate individual's opinions groups. When groups make bad decisions, one of these conditions hasn't been met. If I'm ever a manager I will solicit employee's input by email prior to having a group meeting. Because once you are in the group, various factors make it unlikely that you will hear everyone's opinion, or really be able to evaluate the different information each individual has to offer. But it is critically important for an organization to be making decisions based on the collective wisdom of the group. I think all managers should at least skim this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Shannon | 2/16/2014

    " The first few chapters were interesting/enlightening, but it went downhill from there. Sway was a much better read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jonathan | 2/10/2014

    " I was a half-dozen years late and Surowiecki was a few pennies short of the hype, but I'm glad we met. "

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