Found 6 comments on HN
kstenerud · 2018-09-21 · Original thread
It's bad enough to foster an echo chamber to your personal biases, as is currently standard operating procedure. But to actively engage in hidden manipulation of public views strikes at the very heart of democracy. Democracy only works because of the wisdom of crowds [1], and the wisdom of crowds only works if each participant has independent knowledge. The more people rely upon a shared source of knowledge and truth, the less accurate their collective wisdom becomes.

Practically, this means that anyone with wide enough influence can directly affect democratic outcomes, which defeats the entire purpose, and the level of influence possible these days is unprecedented.

So regardless of what actually did or did not happen, the fact that a few companies ARE in a position to wield this kind of influential power should strike fear into the heart of every free citizen of every democratic nation.


zappo2938 · 2016-01-04 · Original thread
It's not a threshold of the amount of wealth a person has before he or she makes bad decisions. Have you read James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds?[1]"Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future." If that is true, no matter how smart or stupid individual people are, a group of 100 people each worth $10,000,000 using their money as a 'vote' will be better at investing than a single billionaire. The Koch brothers have $100 billion between them. They will spend one billion this year on political influence. They control the conservative conversation which has lead to people who follow them controlling a majority of state legislatures, a majority of state governors, the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. Those two are not stupid. However, any single person or small group of people with that much power is dangerous no matter how smart they might be. The point isn't to take money from rich people to finally pay for the Iraq war. The point is to take money from the most wealthy to prevent any one person or small group of people from having that much influence. Even the president steps down from power after two terms because our form of democracy doesn't work when someone passes a threshold of power from consolidation. The threshold is an amount of power that is consolidated where a person or small group of people are not longer competitive because they can eliminate all competition. Don't allow the consolidation of wealth into a few too big to fail banks. Break up the banks. Tax inheritance above $10,000,000 90%. Their children can innovate and invest to make money like the rest of us. I don't feel bad for them at all. Have a progressive tax structure using income, capital gains, and corporate taxes to prevent people from acquiring more than $250,000,000. Don't threaten me saying they are going to leave the United States. Please, please, please make them leave. They leave behind Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Cal, Stanford, and every other research school and university which will probably do better without their influence on the faculty. They will leave behind the abundant natural resources and infrastructure which sadly lately under their influence has been neglected. They will leave behind the most productive work force in the world. Americans specialize in management and upper management will see an increase in income without them taking a bulk of it. Please, make them go away.


smt88 · 2015-11-10 · Original thread
It isn't fool-proof, but there is a lot of research into the phenomenon that groups of humans are pretty good at predicting outcomes (much better than most individuals). I forget the math behind it, but it makes a lot of sense mathematically.

Here's a book all about it:

dbenhur · 2014-10-28 · Original thread
If you think you're going to harvest the "Wisdom of the Crowds", please go read James Surowiecki's book of the same name.

If that's too hard, at least understand the summary on Wikipedia:

A quick look at your site and it's clear you don't get point #2 Independence as you're showing people the prior avg before they submit their answer. I'll bet your site will suffer from a lack of #1 Diversity of opinion as well, as most websites tend to gather abnormally high concentrations of like minded people just through the natural ways they acquire and accrete audience.

clickbyclick · 2014-10-14 · Original thread
Good luck with the app, I read the intro and the first thought that popped up was Wisdom of Crowds:
mindcrime · 2012-08-13 · Original thread
There's also stuff under "Network theory"[1] at Wikipedia. I feel like those two articles should probably be merged, but it hasn't happened yet, and I haven't had time to take a stab at it. But anyway, both articles contain some useful info.

I also recommend these few books as a good starting point:

Network Science: Theory and Applications[2]

Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means[3]

Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age[4]

The Wisdom of Crowds[5]

Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks[6]

Diffusion of Innovations[7]

Of course - being that Network Science is a multidisciplinary field, that touches a lot of other areas - it can be hard to get a handle on what to study. But those few books - between them - cover a lot of the basics and would give somebody who's interested in this stuff enough background to figure out where to start digging deeper.

For a little bit more on the technical side, a couple of good resources at:

Introductory Graph Theory[8]

Introduction to Graph Theory[9]

Algorithms in Java: Part 5 - Graph Algorithms[10]











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