In 2004, James Surowiecki published The Wisdom of Crowds. The central thesis of his book is that a diverse collection of people is likely to make certain decisions and predictions better than independently operating individuals or even experts. Furthermore, the outcomes of work are better when a group of motivated individuals collaborates (Tongal) as opposed to when a small committee of like-minded individuals or "experts" influences the decisions of those working under them. The four elements required to form a "wise" crowd are:
1) DIVERSITY OF OPINION:
Each person should have private information even if it's just an eccentric interpretation of the known facts.
People's opinions are not determined by the opinions of those around them.
People are able to specialize and draw on local knowledge.
Some mechanism exists for turning many private judgments into a single collective decision.
In the book, Surowiecki explores the concept of collective intelligence. The book begins with an anecdote: In 1906, in Plymouth, England, statistician Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) attended a country fair with the intent of proving the "Madness of Crowds" or that "mobs" lacked intelligence and were prone to delusions. To his surprise, he observed that when guessing the weight of an ox, the average of the crowd's guesses was more accurate than that of any given individual.
TONGAL is an anagram for GALTON