Getting in with a Good Crowd

Crowds: some of us like being in them, for others they're to be avoided. And of course, the occasion (context?) makes a difference too. Big summertime music festivals are some people's idea of heaven, while for others....well, they're not.

Hot topics in business are "crowd sourcing" and "crowd funding", as alternative means to raise resources, relying in part on a pooling of both risks and varied know-how. The "wisdom of crowds" is generally seen as a good thing because it maximises the experience that can be applied to a decision or resolution of a problem.

On the other hand, there's "groupthink", which is not a good thing. This describes a situation in which members of a group, for a number of reasons, are not open to alternative views. They produce ideas which are irrational and/or of poor quality relative the question at hand. Even worse maybe is "groupspeak" which is the means by which groupthink is then communicated more widely.

These are all quite harmless looking words, but easy to misuse, possibly with serious consequences. So best to check exactly what the speaker means when he or she is using them.


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