The wisdom of crowds works when the crowd is choosing the price of an ox, when there's a single numeric average. But if it's a design or something that matters, the decision is made by committee, and that's crap. You want people and groups who are able to think thoughts before they share.
There's a flip side to having prominent public intellectuals, which is that they start meddling in politics and often with quite disastrous results.
There's only one common element that united every writer I've admired... they're all incredibly well-read.
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