Friday, March 18, 2011

The Stupidity of Crowdsourcing

Hi all, I am back and feel better. Every now and then I get sinus headaches and they can last a couple of days. No need to feel sorry for me, I was born with a very small nasal passage and have a deviated septum. When I was young I used to get cluster headaches and believe me, those are wayyyyyyy worse.

I want to talk about problem solving. We have developed a nation of people who cannot solve problems on their own. Fear and greed and selfishness do not lend themselves to problem solving and that is where we are at. You cannot solve problems by ignoring them or attempting to hide from them, it doesn't work that way. I have mentioned before how nothing works anymore, not a single industry. This is being compounded by the fact that the last generation that was taught to problem solve is retiring.

This may sound a little harsh' but, it is true and it is recognized in business. Compartmentalization is what we have, specialists and experts. In business we have taken the Peter Principle to its limits. We promote based on personal connections rather than putting people where they are best suited. If you have a broken system you fix it, you don't try and put new bandaids on it.

The new management concept is crowdsourcing. It is believed that this is a way to keep the failed system working. The concept is simple, you attempt to harness the intelligence of a very large group of people under the assumption that the combined knowledge of the group will find the solution to any problem. This is a compete failure of management.

The basic idea is that if you have enough monkeys on enough typewriters eventually they will write a great book. Another example is that if we harness the intelligence of every five year old in the world they will be able to solve any problem. The implementation is being done through social networking. We used to call this "group think" and it failed, it always fails and it will always fail.

Big changes require original thinkers, outliers. Jesus, Buddha and Socrates changed the world, never wrote a word; but, they did it because of their philosophies. A million people combining the same knowledge will not result in the theories that Einstein developed. The greatest computer in the world is useless in such situations, it does not have originality, creativity. Even if a computer would have figured out what Einstein did, it would be useless because you need a human to understand what it means and implement it.

The philosophy behind group think is what destroyed this nation. There is a movie coming out called "Limitless". The idea is that you can take a pill that will make you smarter and then you can compete with people smarter than you. Transhumanists believe that we can augment our intelligence and abilities with technology, same garbage. Wisdom is understanding the depth and meaning of things, not just answers.

The implementation of the new group thinks is being done by crowdsourcing. The attempt is to utilize social media to find the best answers to problems. On the federal level it is being implemented using social media applications (check out

What I am saying may sound anti-democratic, it is. We are not all born the same, nor do we all have the same abilities. Societies move ahead because someone has a vision and other people recognize its truth and follow. Group think limits growth and denies responsibility, nobody is responsible for the final decision.

Why have we given up on growing up? Why have we given up on working together in the place where we are best suited? Partly because we have no faith in our leaders and partly because we like to believe we are all equal. We are not all equal, we deserve to be treated fairly and we all matter; but, that is where it ends.

Our greatest discoveries were not made by groups, they were made by obsessive compulsive people who focused on some area of understanding and tested everything. He who fails to learn from history is doomed to repeat it. It is social arrogance to believe that we with technology can avoid history; but, we keep trying. No matter how many sheep you gather together, they cannot replace one sheepdog.

What we are attempting to do with direct democracy, crowdsourcing and technology is work around the need for geniuses. The attack on people with Aspergers and attempts to "cure", if successful, means that we will not have any warning devices. We don't like knowing there are people who know better than us; but, they do.

IBM made a computer that competed against the best Jeopardy players ever; but, it didn't get all the questions right. 99% is not enough when the unimagined comes up, that is not nature. Nature requires variation for survival. Attempting to work around nature is simply retarded, you need to work with nature and learn from it.

If this sounds like a rant, it is. The real devil in this type of thinking is that we are attempting to create solutions that no one individual understands completely. That allows us all to be taken advantage of and justifies not listening to the voices that do understand because the crowd wont and the crowd decides.

I am not anti-democratic, I believe the wishes of the people should be listened to and that society should set the direction. I also believe that people should learn as much as they can. I believe we need to get back to basics. Lets start by teaching people to be moral and refusing to have leaders who are not moral.

We have given up on morality and that is the death toll of a society. Charlie Sheen says that we would all be him if we could and too many believe that. I wouldn't be Charlie Sheen, I believe him to be immoral. Rather than managing his urges he indulges in them as much as he can and that is the state of this nation. We no longer believe in boundaries, if we don't turn back we are doomed. Be well.

No comments: