All posts tagged: social studies

Book Review: The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki

Why the Many are Smarter than the Few. It’s this subtitle (appeared own the last edition of the cover) that has attracted me to this book by James Surowiecki. He makes the case that large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant the individuals are. Crowds are better at solving problems, innovating, coming to wise decisions, and predicting the future. The title The Wisdom of Crowds pays homage to Charles Mackay’s 1841 book, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, yet challenging its premise. By focusing on a lot of social research, and giving tons of anecdotal evidences, the author breaks a lot of assumptions that we have on how groups reason, and how they can effectively reach better results that individuals. But don’t take everything for granted: Groups are not more efficient always. To function properly, “collective intelligence” must satisfy four conditions: Diversity: Individuals have “private knowledge” and insights that stem from their varying levels of knowledge, personal experience and ways of thinking about the world. No …

Book Review: Kids These Days, by Malcom Harris

A book about Millennials written about a Millennial. Demonstrates that many of the stereotypes of this generation are incorrect. But then falls short in theorizing a global conjure that is pushing the risk of Human Capital formation from organizations to individuals. A strong j’accuse of modern America, with sound evidence, fails to show a global outlook of this generation. Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm Harris is a bit of an unusual work of social and economic criticism. Like many books in its genre, it tours the current status of human misery and exploitation. But, on the contrary to many other similar works, it doesn’t end on the bright side offering potential solutions. When we talk about generations, we always assume that the world is split upon into them, which leads to continuous assumptions about characters and stereotypes of generations, which we have seen already have not real basis. However, if you build a big enough cluster of people, you start discerning a number of characteristics that people belonging to …