From Wikipedia and the Death of the Expert, a rundown of the debate over the value and wisdom of The Crowd.
Alchemists kept their practices shrouded in secrecy. The shift from alchemy to chemistry wasn’t in the practitioners, nor in the instruments they used. The difference was that chemists had become willing to expose their methods and conclusions to the withering scrutiny of their peers…The chemists said, ‘We don’t want to believe what isn’t true,’ and then: ‘It’s not true until someone else checks your work.’ This doubting impulse led to things like peer review, the duplication of experiments, the foundation of modern science.
…the Internet has become anti-intellectual because Web 2.0 collectivism has killed the individual voice. It is increasingly disheartening to write about any topic in depth these days, because people will only read what the first link from a search engine directs them to…”