The weird, biased wisdom of the crowd

Pradeep Gunasekaran is a very smart technician in my lab. Recently, he told me that one of his professors once challenged the class to estimate the number of small objects in a jar. I suddenly remembered guessing the number of candies in a jar in a contest at the local corner grocery store when I was a kid. After Pradeep explained that the average of the students’ guesses was very close to the correct answer, I thought: “What an interersting way to test the wisdom of the crowd-tweeps.