I think my favourite is ‘Harnessing the wisdom of crowds that watch “Dancing with the Stars”‘. I’ve always loved the phrase ‘wisdom of crowds’ for the way in which it conjures up – at least to me – one of those scenes from an old Frankenstein film where a shabby, ill-educated crowd brandish torches and pitchforks whilst whipping each other up into a bloodthirsty mob. They may be wise for all I know but the evidence of my own eyes kind of points to dumb. God forbid that someone who knows something about the ‘Monster’ try to reason with them either, particularly given that we now – no doubt partially as a result of studying such footage – have realised that if a crowd thinks something then it must be right (although I also thought that a crowd with an opinion could be termed ‘a mob’ but then I guess that was before I ‘wised up’ to their authentic wisdom).
The thing that really made me laugh about the phrase in this spoof hype cycle, though, was the way in which it highlights the recent revelation that harnessing the wisdom of people irrespective of its quality is the way to go; the more people who think something the more true it must be – lowest common denominator obviously trumps talent, discrimination or expertise since more people think it’s better.
I’m really looking forward to the continued democratisation of every field – the more the wisdom of the genuine crowd (i.e. the mass of everyone) permeates the arts, politics and business the less I’ll have to worry about stuff, since everyone will tend to the same level of mediocrity given that its cheaper and doesn’t hurt your head.