May 26, 2006

"Extraordinary delusions and the Wisdom of Chimps"

I'm quoted in The Register article on Wikipedia, "Junk science - the oil of the new web", by Andrew Orlowski:

But even when this appears to work, so what? Seth Finkelstein notes that in some situations, throwing darts at a dartboard produces excellent results. Citing the Wall Street Journal Dartboard Contest, he writes,

"People are fascinated by ways in which data-mining seems to represent some sort of over-mind. But sometimes there's no deep meaning at all. Dartboards are competitive with individual money managers - but nobody talks about the 'wisdom of darts'"

And later:

Seth Finkelstein points out an immediate consequence which is already taking place. Wisdom... gained such traction on the net, because of its cultural distrust of expertise. This stops where the net stops, however - it's hard to envisage even the most militant Wikipedia fan choosing to be operated upon by amateur heart surgeon. But it's accelerated the process of deskilling, and the new flood of cheap (but wise!) amateur labor promises to depress wages even further.


By Seth Finkelstein | posted in press | on May 26, 2006 11:53 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Orlowski. Hmmm.

Posted by: Philipp Lenssen at May 27, 2006 07:37 PM

Thanks for the wise and thoughtful contribution, Phillip!

Posted by: Andrew Orlowski at May 28, 2006 12:56 PM

Seth and Andrew, you may be interested in this:

Posted by: Xed at May 30, 2006 05:18 PM