"Even if he had the most diverse network of friends and the largest group of friends, we still might fail to understand the broader social environment if we are using inadequate rules to make decisions. If we are very focused on the advice of a particular friend, or if you're following a particular leader… I mean, in today's world where we have access to all kinds of information, we can be everyone's friend and learn from anyone. We do tend to still use rules to integrate social information that exclude other parts of this social network.

We follow our leaders. We follow people with trust. We follow our spouse. And so we don't profit from all the diversity around us.


When the problem is actually much more complex, then this 'following the one who has the currently best solution' can backfire because the whole group, the whole society, can get stuck in what we call a local optimum, or in a solution that seems all right, but actually in the long run it could have been much more improved if we were more open to other ideas.

So there is an interaction between the rule that we are using to make decisions and the networks, like how many different diverse opinions are in our network, and the problem we are solving."

~ Mirta Galesic (https://complexity.simplecast.com/episodes/9)