Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Do I look smarter being in a group?

Dear Susan Cain,

Upon reading your article "The Rise of the New Groupthink," you really made a good point on the way people think creatively. It is very true that people work better as a team, but the real creativity comes out and shine is when people are in an isolated area, where they are comfortable enough to sit there and think of new ideas and thoughts. The way you mentioned that "individuals almost always perform better than groups in both quality and quantity, and group performance gets worse as group size increases" (Cain 2012). The perfect example, that I think, from your article is when you stated: "Mr. Wozniak got the work done - the sheer hard work of creating something from nothing - he did it alone. Late at night, all by himself" (Cain 2012). But the idea of cooperating in a group can start something great also contradicts this belief. Like author Clay Shirky stated in his article "Here comes everybody." When a group of people decided to become a community and join in on certain projects, they have the ability to achieve and produce better things than those individual minds makes themselves. He stated: "Because enough people thought of using Wikipedia as a coordinating resource, it became one, and because it became one, more people learned to think of it as a coordinating resource" (Shirky 117). In this contact, Wikipedia is the idea that people thought of. The website cannot really become great until people from various places with different knowledge input their own experiences into it. This example really showed how team work can sometimes be better than individual work. But then again, it is amazing how well the users of Wikipedia cooperated with one another. The way people actually post genuine information toward one content. According to Andrew Keen's article "The cult of the amateur," what he stated can be seen as the unproductive aspect of certain creative minds. He said: "In a flattened, editor-free world where independent videographers, podcasters, and bloggers can post their amateurish creations at will, and no one is being paid to check their credentials or evaluate their material, media is vulnerable to untrustworthy content of every stripe" (Keen 19). From this we can see that not all people are there to share accurate and resourceful information,  instead they would upload misinformation and disinformation where they have no basis, misdirecting people all over the world. So is it better to work by yourself or as a community? It really all depends on whether people actually take responsibility for the information they try to contribute.

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