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Sunday: April 8, 2007

Plurisapience?

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:13 PM UTC

Colby Cosh wants to be able to express ‘the wisdom of crowds’ in a single word, or rather two words, a noun and an adjective. He proposes ‘plurisapience’ and ‘plurisapient’. Not bad, but that would also mean ‘the wisdom of more than one person’, which is not the same thing. For example, it would include novelists and professors who become so famous that they dispense with editors and publish ever longer and worse works. The usefulness of (competent) editors is an example of ‘the wisdom of more than one; the value of a second opinion’, but doesn’t seem to have much to do with ‘the wisdom of crowds’.

Why not go straight to the Greek and Roman words for ‘crowd, mob’? They are pejorative, but that’s no objection. I’ve never read The Wisdom of Crowds, but I gather that it argues that crowds of non-experts can in some cases combine to outthink even the cleverest of experts. Anyway, ‘the wisdom of the mob’ would be ‘vulgisapience’ (adjective ‘vulgisapient’) if derived from Latin, ‘ochlosophy’ (adjective ‘ochlosophic’) if derived from Greek.

Just Asking . . .

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:59 PM UTC

I haven’t read all the coverage of the Iranian kidnapping of 15 British sailors and marines — no one could — but what I have read does not mention one interesting question: what happened to their uniforms? We know that they were sent home in ugly Iranian suits. Unless I’m missing something, it appears that their uniforms remain in Iranian hands. Or perhaps not. In January, Iraqi ‘insurgents’ — in fact, war criminals — wearing American uniforms killed five American soldiers in Karbala (good summary here). Have the British uniforms stolen by Iran already been shipped to al Sadr’s men in Basra so they can try the same thing there? Why is no one asking what happened to them?

About the Author

Filed under: — site admin @ 4:50 PM UTC

If InstaPundit can post a portrait of himself drawn by a two-year-old nephew, I suppose I can post a portrait of me done by the youngest of my sixth-grade Geography and Latin students:

I like the way it gives the short person’s perspective, while taking thirty or more years off my age. On the other hand, my ears are not quite that prominent.