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Corruption, Free-Riders, and The (Non-)Wisdom of Crowds

"John and his father go out to look at the stars. John sees two blue stars and a red star. His father sees a green star, a violet star, and two yellow stars. What is the total temperature of the stars seen by John and his father?"

This is the story of what happened when Richard Feynman became involved in choosing maths books for California schools.
Corruption in textbook-adoption proceedings: 'Judging Books by Their Covers'
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Yemon Choi's profile photoWilliam Moates's profile photoRonald Gainey's profile photo
 
"Wakalixes makes it go" -- in my (even) grumpier moments I wonder if this approach to "learning" persists to graduate student level...
 
A great counterexample to "the wisdom of the crowds" idea. TWOTC only works in specific situations, such as guessing the number of marbles in a vase. Know what those situations are before you use it.

Now, I need to go out and buy some wakalixes, since these batteries of mine keep loosing their charge.
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