groups select natural leaders on the basis of how much each person contributes to group discussions, even when their contributions have no relation to their actual competence.
In a group solving math problems…
Repeatedly, the ones who emerged as leaders and were rated the highest in competence were not the ones who offered the greatest number of correct answers. Nor were they the ones whose SAT scores suggested they’d even be able to. What they did do was offer the most answers — period.
Feh. The regularity with which I read or hear things that basically say I’m wasting my time trying to do anything of depth and quality starts to become rather depressing and discouraging: “HEY! That’s nice and all but you’d be a lot more successful if you’d just churn out crap.”
In less depressing news, this is the sexiest web thing to really turn my head in a while: TermCloud search
TermCloud Search is part of an ongoing research project on the social and political dimensions of Web search. As stated in this blog post, the main idea was to turn the search process into an act of learning in itself instead of just a means for getting quickly to another site. The term cloud (generated from 250 results via Yahoo BOSS’ keyterm feature) is a way to explore a subject area, getting an overview over the central terms surrounding a query. The project is currently beta.