Thursday, March 29, 2012

Groupthink Discrepancies

Dear Cain, Keen, and Shirky,

You all wrote very interesting articles on groupthink. I would have to disagree with some points made though. Cain, your arguments for getting more creative thoughts from solitude and having a groupthink mentality in a collaborative workplace are invalid. The very point of a collaborative effort in the workplace is often to bounce ideas back and forth while someone plays devil's advocate, all the while helping to come up with the best idea possible as a team.

Keen, your worries about about democratized media leading to everyone on the internet producing and contributing and no one actually listening are unfounded. If there was no one there to listen then there wouldn't be motivation for anyone to create or post any kind of media. Yes, there has been a huge influx of people self promoting their work on sites like Youtube, but in the end it's a self sufficient system. Like the economics' invisible hand theory, only the truly talented - and somewhat lucky - will survive. Mediocrity will not catch on.

Shirky, I would have to disagree with Cunningham's assumption that "groups of people who want to collaborate also tend to trust one another". Staying with the Wikipedia example, I don't think people really trust one another just because they are contributing to or reading the same articles. People are very quick to use other outlets on the internet to fact check what they are reading if they believe someone has posted an error. I believe that if you checked the edit history on some of the most popular article, it would show you that people have disagreed on many topics including simple facts like dates, locations, etc.

Kindest Regards,
Joe Guagenti

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