Monday, January 16, 2006

The Wisdom of Crowds

Groups of humans are generally more intelligent than any one human in them, and their collective decisions exercise an ability to predict future events any mere individual can recreate only by pure luck.

So when three people are shot at the All-Star Second Line, the consequences can be determined in the wisdom of the crowds:

“This is not what I came back here to see,” said Delanda Garner, who was scheduled to head back to Houston today.

***

“We want to come home, but we don’t want to come home to this,” Jenkins said.

***

“Out of 50 second-lines, 39 to 40 are going to have a shooting,” he said. “If I’ve got a beef with you, I can guarantee you I’m going to see you at a second-line.”
New Orleans is not a blank slate. We will be rebuilding on a lot of history that doesn’t just go away. The problems we ineffectually dealt with before the storm are still around.

Violence, poor education, poverty, and segregation are all ills that will persist in the new New Orleans, unless we address racism in our city.

We can build better levees and have a dialogue about racism at the same time. Just as old problems don’t go away overnight, nor do solutions for those problems arise overnight. Nor do they come in the recommendations of an appointed commission.

Let us consult the wisdom of the crowds. They know what city they want to come back to. Let’s hear it. This is a democracy, right? So let’s vote.

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