But, many times, the masses are asses, in both the real and virtual worlds. There's a lot of noise out there.
I, myself, don't have trouble finding the signal: find some good sites and keep an eye on who they read.
So, with that preamble, I give you this post from kottke:
The Dunning-Kruger Effect: "the phenomenon whereby people who have little knowledge systematically think that they know more than others who have much more knowledge". "Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Meanwhile, people with true knowledge tended to underestimate their competence." (via cyn-c)
The solution? Smart people should be less humble? I don't think so.
Maybe it's for smart people to remember that, absence evidence to the contrary, people we don't know, in real and virtual worlds, are 'innocent' of intelligence, wisdom, being well informed, and good intentions until proven 'guilty'.
Not that we assume everyone's stupid, foolish, ignorant, and evil. We should reserve judgment. Don't give people more credit than they've earned. Don't get fired up when someone we don't know does something dumb. In many ways, that's to be expected.
What do you think?