Friday, August 13, 2010

American Idiots

I was dismayed to find that the first few online comments on the America's Best College List by Forbes started with this: "This list is lame. Cambridge is not in the US." To put this into context, Forbes' article starts with: "The best college in America is not in Cambridge or Princeton..."

Apparently the folk lore that Americans are ignorant about the world's geography is not exaggerated. Some people don't even know their own country's geography! Many commentators later correctly stated that Cambridge is a small town outside of Boston where two of the most famous universities are situated: Harvard and MIT. They are not talking about Cambridge, England. Well, those who jumped to the conclusion without researching in the vast amount of information available to us nowadays at our finger tips definitely won't make it to those two universities. They might've failed their high school science classes.

It brings me back to the question: how much could you trust the crowd? Sure the crowd will always adjust itself until it comes very close to the right answers, but how long should we wait before we could be sure that the crowd is right?