from the madness-of-crowds dept.
captain normal writes:
An essay by Robert W.Lucky in IEEE Spectrum, 'Who is the Crowd?', discusses how the internet has provided the means for many people to contribute to knowledge.
From the essay:
I look at my computer screen and imagine all the murmuring voices behind it, clamoring for attention. There is almost a mystical presence out there, not from aliens but from something almost as thrilling and unexpected--a new presence that has been brought about as a consequence of the enveloping architecture of the Internet.
The crowd has wisdom, knowing things that may not be known to individuals. It has sentiments, beliefs, and feelings that can be abstracted and analyzed. Moreover, it has the power to affect the real physical world...Small armies of volunteers and paid contributors can be assembled on a moment's notice to work on projects.
I find this very much like this current project here on SoylentNews. This is a 'Crowd' thing. Not a top down organization like the old 19th ~ 20th century organization model."