Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Wisdom of Crowds

A funny thing happened, when we posted on Getting All A's, But Flunking Life, Dan put it on Digg / Science, and we experienced a Blog Storm. The figure below shows our visitors to this blog over the past 30 days, and see the Digg Effect.

Pretty wild. This Internet is huge, but it's staggering to imagine the huge groups and networks we still don't know existed. The blogosphere and social bookmarking sites have a special role to play in the discussion of education (what worked, what didn't), because its important to hear individual stories, and too often the nature of the sample selected will disproportionately affect what what conclusions are drawn.

Social networking sites such as these can also be useful for getting beyond the soundbyte-quality to conventional news. With good threads, ideas and discussions can evolve, and opinions can be changed.

So what's that brain scan down below?...the emotional burden of making correct decisions that oppose others (socially independent decision-making). Even when you know you're right, it seems, your amygdala will still ache.

(Now I guess I'll have to figure out how to add a Digg this and Delicio this button to this blog...)

Digg at Wikipedia
fMRI of Social Independence

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