Collective Action and Decision-making

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March 20

Mass collaboration and the aggregation of information enable potentially profound changes in business and politics. In this class, we will compare and contrast the transformations in economic life and collective decision-making processes brought on the information revolution. The discussions will also explore the role of open information systems on business and the scope for greater transparency and participation in government, politics and public life.


Assignment 3 due


Optional Readings

  • Divided They Blog - a paper showing trackbacks between political blogs, mentioned by Ethan Zuckerman in his review of Cass Sunstein's Infotopia

Class Discussion

March 20: Collective Action and Decision-making Just Johnny 17:11, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

I like the connection between the reality of crowd intelligence in "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" or marble-jar guessing and the concept of blog aggregates and online communities. It seems like this is a good argument against the dangers of cocooning at some levels. While a given blog/website community is likely there because they all subscribe to a certain set of interests or views, at least you know that if you're going to a big one you're probably getting the very best and most cohesive expression of those concepts. It may not make them right, but it adds value to them as a tool for educating yourself. Aggregates also will provide a balance to the problem that 1 or 2 of every group of 50 people will actually be more accurate than the group at guessing the number of marbles... but only in that one specific trial. If you follow one blogger religiously you are susceptible to their blind spots and moments where they were simply wrong. If you follow a collection of sites and blogs you will be exposed to the correct answers to most questions; whether you realize which is the correct answer is up to you haha. AlexLE 14:04, 19 March 2012 (UTC)