The Internet Predicts the Future, Dec 05

BY JIM KARPEN

How much is an opinion worth? It depends on how smart and informedthe person is who holds it. My opinion is worth quite a lot. Ha ha.

Actually, it turns out that no matter how smart or well informed an expertis, the aggregated opinion of a group of people tends to be more accurate.

Examples abound. The collective opinion of a group of people correctly predictedthe winner of the vote for president in all 50 states in the last election,as well as 33 out of 34 Senate races.

In 2002 a group of people accurately picked 35 out of the eventual 40 Oscarnominees. And in December of 2003, two days before the capture of SaddamHussein, collective opinion indicated his capture was imminent.

How were these opinions aggregated? By public opinion polls? Nope. The Internet,of course.

Click here to read therest of this article. You’ll be taken to Jim Karpen’s website for the complete article, and access to all of Jim’s posted writings.

 

Jim Karpen

Jim Karpen, Ph.D., teaches writing at Maharishi University of Managementin Fairfield, Iowa. He has been interested in the revolutionaryconsequences of computer technology ever since writinghis Ph.D. dissertation in 1984 at Bowling Green State Universityon the study of the "digitizedword."