Jaron argues that we should not get carried away by too facile an interpretation of the wisdom of crowds idea. He correctly points out that well functioning systems require a balance of bottoms-up and top-down approaches, along with both individual and collective action. Markets (collective action) require some degree of (top-down) government regulation and (individual) entrepreneurs."Every authentic example of collective intelligence that I am aware of also shows that collective was guided or inspired by well-meaning individuals."
Note 1: This piece is fairly long, and the first part is focused mostly on Wikipedia, but the most interesting thoughts are in the second part, so hang in there.Note 2: See related thoughts from me here.
Note 3: Edge.org is a superb site that catalyzes conversations among leading physicists, artists, sociolgists, anthropologies, and others.