Insights of Many > Insights of a Few

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Clive Thompson’s book “Smarter Than You Think” argues how technology continues to alter for the better how we think.  His thesis is that ” every technological innovation—from the printing press to the telegraph—has provoked the very same anxieties that plague us today. We panic that life will never be the same, that our attentions are eroding, that culture is being trivialized. But as in the past, we adapt—learning to use the new and retaining what’s good of the old.”

Yet despite these concerns he makes the case that technology, especially internet-enabled, is already demonstrating the potential for a new level of insight. One of the better examples provided is how a public game, Fold-It, devised by a scientist, marshaled the resources of many people, most amateurs, to solve a complex biological problem involving the structure of a virus.

One of the best cases described in the book is that of David…

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