Crowd Science

Colabria Recently there was a discussion on the scientific integrity and merits of Wikipedia. It concerned the not-so-favorable Wikipedia entry for neurolinguistic programming (NLP). The discussion also revealed important principles of collective intelligence and crowd science.

Before continuing, please note that pseudoscience is not protoscience.

Basically, an ardent support of NLP pseudoscience was concerned with Wikipedia’s robust scientific bias. As a leader of worldwide collective intelligence communities, it is safe to say Wikipedia strives to be good science. This bias is important.

Even popular entertainment networks like TED/TEDx, recently and quite publicly, have eliminated bad science and pseudoscience from their amusing performances.

So, you ask, what is good science? Here are some guidelines for good science:

  • It must be falsifiable
  • It makes claims that can be tested and verified
  • It has been published in a top, peer reviewed journal
  • It is based on theories that are argued for by many experts
  • Its proponents are secure enough to accept areas of doubt
  • It is backed up by experiments to convince other experts of its legitimacy
  • It does not fly in the face of the broad existing body of scientific knowledge
  • Exponents works for a university and/or have credible scientific qualification

4-28-2014 10-16-56 AM

In the 1970s your humble network actor spent a good amount of time at Esalen Institute and Big Sur. It was the peak of the Human Potential Movement. The efforts were sincere. The outcomes never met the lofty expectations. It was a lot of fun though! Rational Wiki

A generation later my role was advising and leading management development for the world’s largest technology firm. Now and then NLP would pop-up on the agenda, usually driven by new-age nostalgia. It was promptly and categorically dismissed. 

Same for Dianetics, parapsychology, noetic science and other pseudoscience. Frankly, we had no interest in NLP or other management development quackery. See Woo at Rational Wiki.

Remember, Wikipedia is now the top source of information for doctors and patients. Wikipedia is compelled to pursue good science. Rational Wiki does the same. See NLP at RationalWiki.

Avoid Woo-Woo.

Written by

No Comments Yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.