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Wisdom of the Crowd vs Bias

There is a recent show coming out this fall titled Wisdom of the Crowd. Essentially the show captures the idea of crowd-sourcing the public to submit information through their smartphones in the hopes to be part of criminal capture.


A tech innovator creates a cutting-edge crowd-sourcing hub to solve his own daughter’s murder, as well as revolutionizing crime solving in San Francisco. (IMDB, 2017)

This idea is not necessary new, as police have utilized social media and other avenues of technology to assist them in their job of hunting bad guys. While I haven’t had time to watch this yet, I suspect it will be more about ‘see something say something’ ideology. Thank you Janet Napolitano.

We continue to spiral in a world where most would flip out their smartphone to record for YouTube over assisting victims.

An interesting article discusses how the average of the wisdom of the crowd guessed the weight of an ox within 10 pounds. The result was the idea of a collection of the whole is better data than the expert of one.

Way back in 1906, the English polymath Francis Galton visited a country fair in which 800 people took part in a contest to guess the weight of a slaughtered ox. After the fair, he collected the guesses and calculated their average which turned out to be 1,208 pounds. To Galton’s surprise, this was within 1 percent of the true weight of 1,198 pounds. (TechnologyReview, 2014 Jul 14)

More fascinating to me is it turns out that if a crowd offers a wide range of independent estimates, then it is more likely to be wise. But if members of the crowd are influenced in the same way, for example by each other or by some external factor, then they tend to converge on a biased estimate.  (TechnologyReview, 2014 Jul 14) This bias climate can be seen recently with the shootings in Las Vegas, when reporters told the witnesses only one shooter, rather than listening to what those on the ground had to say.

Meriam Webster defines crowdsourcing as the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.

This is quite effective as most people today would leave their wallet at home, over their smartphone. Again, the new show is merely a reflection of what is already occuring.

  • Hatari project enables citizens of Nairobi to submit and share reports on locations of criminal activity  and corruption. Visitors to the site can openly, or anonymously share their own experiences as victims of crime, in addition to the reporting of incidents and also receive alerts to crimes committed in their area. All information is shared via text messaging, as well as web postings and messages via social media such as Twitter.
  • Police in Bristol, England are using Facebook and the internet to track down the killer of 25 year old architect Joanna Yeates who went missing on Friday 17th December 2010. Joanna’s body was found on Christmas Day. The Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s website and Facebook page contain a map of Joanna’s movements prior to her disappearance.
  • Postacrime.com, Spotcrime.com, and CrimeReports all rely on tips from the public for information on all types of crimes committed, although Postacrime only focuses on instances of property loss and damage.
  • The Seattle Police Department already have their own Twitter account with over 7,000 plus followers keeping track of the goings on in their city as well as tweeting vital information to help police in their investigations. They have now established a new initiative to tackle car crime, called Get Your Car Back.  All reports of stolen cars are posted to this designation, including full details of the vehicle’s registration, colour, make and model. Followers who receive the tweet alerts call 911 when they recognise a stolen vehicle.  Although it is too early to tell just how effective the move is proving to be, Seattle PD’s goal is to reduce the number of thefts between 10 and 20 percent.
  • In 2014 a new app called LEEDIR (Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository) help police use smartphones as tools to gather evidence. (AP, 2014 May 2)

Those against this type of usage fear all this data is over reach of privatization. Additionally, it subjects innocent people to police scrutiny and does not provide “good evidence”. Personally, I feel Big Brother is getting assistance from it’s slaves.

“There’s a reason that we pay professionals to work in police departments,” said Nate Cardozo, a civil liberties attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

People are passionate about being in the community , and will willingly contribute and may not realize they are being exploited by the company,” Moffitt explained.

Whats your thoughts on this topic? I would love to hear it.


IMDB. (2017). Wisdom of the Crowd. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6522758/

TechnologyReview. (2014 Jul 14). Forget Wisdom of Crowds; Neurobiologists reveal the wisdom of the confident. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/528941/forget-the-wisdom-of-crowds-neurobiologists-reveal-the-wisdom-of-the-confident/

AP. (2014 May 2). New app lets police crowd source evidence. Retrieved from http://nypost.com/2014/05/02/new-app-lets-police-crowd-source-evidence/

Facebook Conversation – Genesis vs Enuma Elish.

Over time, I have attempted to review a lot of information, and digest it the best way I can. An interesting conversation came up on an friend’s Facebook post. Something more meaningful than the causal meme being shared. What was initially an after-thought, may turn out to be a very interesting dialogue.

Let me share it here.

Original Post.

a…Random Thought…Since the beginning of recorded history, defined as when the Sumarians invented writing around 6000 years ago, authorities have catalogued over 3700 supernatural beings, of which around 2870 can be considered deities. Those numbers are probably a conservative estimate because we have no accurate information before 4000 B.C. There are a large number of these that are still worshipped today. So, which one is the right one? Is it a matter of opinion?
And because I asked that first question, there are some of you who are going to get angry, and start quoting bible scripture at me. Don’t bother. I’ve read it straight thru 3 times in my life. I am fairly well versed. So, why did you get angry? Did you automatically think that I was targeting your specific deity? I was just asking a question. I want to know why anger is one of the prevailing reactions when someone asks a “threatening” question about religion. So, go ahead. Hit me with your best shot! Fire Away!

This started a conversation within the original post. I will post that below. This all started yesterday, so not sure where it will lead. What I have always tried to do, was be transparent. We all grow and learn, but by denying anyone’s views, we do ourselves a disservice. 

Matt ColeLOL. Feeling a bit spiffy today Roger? The bible does mention the creator having a heavenly council. This council does actions on Earth at times. Also keep in mind, the nations were split into 70 languages.
You pose an interesting inquiry. Anger wasn’t really my response, but rather curiousity why you asked.
Basically, the creator took Israel as its chosen nation, while the council took over the others. The table of nations attempt to spec out how the people divided up after the Flood.
Regarding your inquiry on many deities, remember prior to the language division at Babylon, they all spoke the same. Nimrod was the king who setup pagan worship, and when languages were changed, those same people may have divided geographically, they still took the same religion, belief system.
There is a reason they say ‘All roads lead to Babylon’, in reference to pagan religion. Quite literally one can trace all the deities back to Babylon (different names, same source). It’s not really a matter of opinion.
There is no denying supernatural visitations throughout history. The bigger question is, why.

David CarbreyThe latest version of the Enuma Elish predates the oldest copy of Genesis by about one thousand years and that’s where I am getting my information. The Enuma Elish contains the prototypes for stories such as the creation story, Adama and Awa in Eden, Enki the Serpent King, the flood, Lillith, etc… It was the foundation for the Sumerian beliefs and later, those of Babylon. These people didn’t have any concept of writing things down for entertainment. Literature was a foreign concept to them. They were chroniclers and list-makers. The Israelites priests learned these stories during their captivity under Nebuchadnezzar. Prior to that, the Israelites had never written anything down. So, getting history from the Bible while ignoring it’s original source is kind of silly. Much like choosing to ignore the parents, grandparents and siblings of Jehovah but insisting that He just existed from the beginning and they never did. There is of course, some history in the Bible, but so much of it was edited by the Israelite and Hebrew scribes and then by the early church fathers around 400AD. Not to mention the various translations from Aramaic, to Latin, Greek & English. Then, you also have to realize that the original text included no punctuation or spacing – so much room for error there. Even the simplest things like the Nativity are messed up. All 4 versions of the story have major discrepancies. It’s the only instance where we take all of the elements that do not match up and put them together for the final version of the story, instead of only including the common elements and discounting those that are only present in one version.

Matt ColeDavid Carbrey This is interesting. I will continue to look into Enuma Elish. Currently reading the following article:https://carm.org/genesis-creation-enuma-elish

David CarbreyHi Matt! I think it’ got to be noted that CARM is a site committed to defending Christian theology and doctrine. They have an agenda that is clearly stated on their landing page. They are never going to be objective concerning the foundations of their faith as related to any other. Also, their premises don’t actually add up to the conclusions they are claiming. Their premises are based on faith and they are ignoring much that is obvious. In the Burning Bush story, Moses is informed by Jehovah that, “I am the God of Abraham.” Abraham worshipped Jehovah and brought this faith with him when he migrated from Ur, (Thi9s is from Genesis) where Jehovah’s entire family was worshipped and catalogued by the Sumerian scribes. That alone, establishes a foundation in Sumerian mythology. It’s pretty hard to argue against that by using texts that clearly derived from the Enuma Elish.

Matt ColeDavid Carbrey I find this an interesting discussion. A little deeper than Facebook memes. If you don’t care, I wouldn’t mind pursuing this conversation, as time allows.
If so, I would like to step back and bring in some foundations to provide a better understanding on perception. This isn’t to debate, rather give everyone some backdrop of where I am coming from. I would like for you to also provide some feedback. I find it better when I have an understanding of the individual’s background, and word view. Makes it easier to understand why they think, the way they do.

So what is Faith?
Faith can be defined by the following.
a) confidence or trust in a person or thing; or the observance of an obligation from loyalty; or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement; or a belief not based on proof; or it may refer to a particular system of religious belief, [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith]
b) strong belief or trust in someone or something [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faith]

Faith is a trust in something. Why do people trust anything? It is because they either gain the information from a source they trust in (IE: people they may know, or a group of people). Also, the trust could be from personal experiences they have endured.
We live in a time where more information is thrown at us, unlike any time before. There are nuggets of truth, but more psyop, disinformation, and neglected or ignored truth as well. We are left with having to discern through all this to find the truth. I personally find it very hard to believe anything given to us anymore, regarding mainstream media.

What is truth?
Truth is defined as;
a) to mean being in accord with fact or reality [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth]
b) he real facts about something : the things that are true [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/truth]
We have to be carefull with the idea of “my truth is not the same as your truth” mentality. Facts are facts. However, we may believe differently, regardless of seeing the facts.
This (in my opinion) is due to our personal experiences, up-bringing, and worldview.

What is worldview?
Worldview is defined as;
a) the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society’s knowledge and point of view. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_view]
b) the way someone thinks about the world. [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worldview]

This is the framework I am coming from. I wouldn’t mind you making any comments or providing thoughts of your own.
Saying all this, I agree. Depending on the source of information we digest, it will lean one way or another, based on the sources faith and worldview. I really don’t think we can get away from that.
Every individual has these inherently. This is why I like to review different sources, and try to discern some truth out of each. Saying that, I would request for your citations, in why you think a b c or d. This will allow me to learn more, and give me some additional food for thought.
Also, I prefer to call this a conversation over a debate. I have lived long enough to know in debates, you will never, if rarely, change the opposing person’s view. However, you can help educate those willing to learn from the conversation, and more importantly, those listening to the conversation. This is why I will provide citations when I can, and request the same to be done from you.
Also, if you want to proceed, we both have lives. I have a lot on my plate, but think this would be fun. If I don’t immediately reply, it’s not intentional, or am I ignoring your statement or question.

Moving on:
Per your comment, “it’ got to be noted that CARM is a site committed to defending Christian theology and doctrine” Agreed, for the reasons above. It is their worldview, so they are defending it as such.
Per your comment; “their premises don’t actually add up to the conclusions they are claiming.” The way I was reading it, they provided compare/contrast between Moses writing with the other writings in the immediate area.
Per your comment; “In the Burning Bush story, Moses is informed by Jehovah that, “I am the God of Abraham.” Abraham worshipped Jehovah and brought this faith with him when he migrated from Ur, “
The burning bush is in Exodus 3.2 through vs 6. A book titled “The Spirit Realm’ by Michael S. Heiser, points out something interesting. Verse 6 mentions Moses was afraid to look in the burning bush, suggesting he had discerned something other than fire within the bush. This could very well be a human form of the Angel. Most, don’t realize there were two entities in the book. If you read it carefully, “the angel of the Yahweh” was in the bush. But when Moses turns to look in the bush, Yahweh calls Moses “from the midst of the bush”. There is the visible and invisible Yahweh characters in play here. When asked for God’s name, he replied “I AM”. I am looking deeper into this. I make this point, because there is more to this than Jehova vs Yahweh vs I AM.
Per your comment: “Jehovah’s entire family was worshipped and catalogued by the Sumerian scribes” From what I am reading, According to Sumerian texts Enki (Satan) created man and animals and his brother Enlil (jehovah) created the earth and sky. A rift came between them (much like the parable of Cain and Able / Esau and Jacob), and although Satan was the eldest of the brothers (their father was An chief Sumer god), Yahwehs mother held a higher rank (Yahweh and Satan, according to Sumer texts had different mothers), because of this Yahweh was given precedence in the Pantheon of Gods.
It goes back to the idea of duality, white/black, as above/so below, male/female, ECT. But, if this was true, who created the creators?

David Carbrey Hey, sounds fun Matt. Let’s do it. I also work so responses may be slow from time to time. My point was that n order to have a logical discussion, we would need to steer clear of premises based on faith because faith cannot be proven.

I personally choose to believe in the Christian God however, the existence of these ancient texts does beg to be addressed. It creates some serious contradictions.

I don’t claim to, “know” anything though.


Matt Cole David Carbrey Awesome. I hear you and concur. I may also put my replies in a webpage, for easier communication on links/videos ECT.