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17.4.16

Wisdom of crowds=Wisdom of the mob.

Wisdom of crowds. This was an issue addressed by  my Dad. After a career in science, he went into the stock market. He told me once the best way to lose money in the stock market is to listen to advice of the experts or the crowd. That was pretty much in accord with the general world view of Californians  in those days of the importance of  finding your own path and not listening to the wisdom of crowds.

He was in those days working with the best stock brokers of Merrill-Lynch. But that was what my Dad said even abut the top experts--not to listen to their advice about what to invest in.

Today I would have to temper (modify) this advice. Sometimes. Sapolsky mentioned on one of his utube videos  [#22. min. 45 ]that if you take a lot of experts and take the average of all their estimates about the thing they are expert in then the medium turns out to be very close to the true value more than any one expert. But the caveat [condition] is they have to be experts in that field. For example given to Navy geologist temperature and some other variable the question was asked, "Where in the world would this be?" Take the collective answer of all and take the average. It came out within 300 meters of the right spot.

So you really have to be expert enough to be able to tell who is a real expert and who really has just assumed expertise.


[Mainly the reason my Dad went into business instead of continuing in science was as far as I understood was the his project of creating satellite communication by lasers was completed for NASA and he no longer wanted to be under the thumb of an any employer. He wanted to be self employed. He was tired I think of taking orders and thought he could do better n his own.