[LINK] Dick Destiny on "China caused the blackouts"

Brendan Scott brendansweb at optusnet.com.au
Tue Jun 10 11:44:51 AEST 2008

Antony Barry wrote:
> On 09/06/2008, at 12:15 PM, Richard Chirgwin wrote:
>>>  In another manner of speaking, if one can fill a
>>> room with bull, hearsay and gossip, there's always a magic tipping
>>> point where it transforms into fact, like lead turns into gold when
>>> touched by the Philosopher’s Stone in alchemy.
>> I have watched with some dismay as the most ludicrous assertions are
>> given as straight fact ...
> I remember reading of some research where a small group of people in  
> a busy street would start pointing to a patch of sky and discussing  
> amongst themselves a strange light they could see. Gradually a crowd  
> would grow most of whom could "just" see the light with some  
> frustrated that they could not. I forget how big an initial group you  
> needed but it was quite small. Of course there was nothing in the sky.

This was covered in James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds. 
Unfortunately, I only have the dead tree version so I can't search for where - see pg 43ff + notes, citing Milgram, Bickman and Berkowitz. 


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