Using an incredibly wide range of examples and applications, Surowiecki consistently and surprisingly illustrates the power that combined intelligence has.

The global outbreak of SARS is a great example of the wisdom of crowds, as disparate labs around the world found the cause in record quick time. Another more everyday example is that of a bookie. Having worked out the predicted odds for a sporting event, the bookie then watches how the punters as a whole bet and move their odds up and down to ensure a profit (the bookie only has to break even with the punters to make a profit).

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