NYT Discovers WIsdom of Crowds, Feels "Queasy"


The New York Times isn't sure about this whole "wisdom of crowds" business–Digg and Media Predict in particular. Don't the people need op-ed pages to be told what to think? Roger Cohen, of the IHT "feel[s] queasy about the wisdom of the masses."

Give me a serious food critic any day over the agglomerated diners' gibberish of the Zagat guides.

I am no doubt in a minority on that. Zagat has proved a global winner, as has American Idol. We live in an age when people love to know what everyone else thinks and the means exist to convey those thoughts instantaneously online.

He's trying to be even-handed, and he's quite open about what he has at stake on a personal level ("A life spent in newspapering does not endear me to outfits that consign editors to the Paleolithic age" and "I have published three books and was grossly overpaid for all of them"). But as the NYT tears down its subscription wall, Cohen's article reads like little more than a feeble protest against the inevitable.

More on wise crowds, such as they are, here.