Searches for “Jimmy Savile” on Google yield 49,700 results. A search for “Jimmy Saville” – the incorrect spelling – yields 62,100.
So much for the wisdom of the crowds.
Although I meant this as a throwaway observation, it is true that James Surowiecki’s theory is inadequate when it comes to spelling Sir Jimmy’s name correctly. He states that crowds yield better results than a small group of experts provided four conditions are met. Wise crowds need diversity of opinion, independence of members from one another, decentralisation and a good method for aggregating opinions. I reckon that Googling for a spelling satisfies all of these conditions, so a fifth needs to be added:
Wise crowds also need a passing knowledge of eccentric former disc jockeys or presenters of defunct wish-fulfilment programmes.
Or a copy of Who’s Who.