"Five teams, led by some of the top researchers in the world, were created to compete... Some were made up of professional CIA analysts, others of academics. And Tetlock entered a team of his own, which was called the Good Judgement Project (or GJP)
"The GJP team was made up of large numbers of ordinary people – retired plumbers and teachers and housewives and the like. They were paid in the form of $250 Amazon vouchers.
"Every day, the teams were required to submit predictions to identical questions posed by IARPA about world affairs. The questions were diverse and specific: will Colonel Gaddafi be overthrown before the first of April 2014; how thick will Arctic ice be on the 1st of January 2013, will traces of polonium be found in the body of Yasser Arafat by 1st July 2008 (which would show he was poisoned).
"Tetlock says almost 500 questions were posed over the study period and that his team gathered more than 1 million individual forecasts.
"After the first year, GJP’s team of superforecasters had beaten the pros by a wide margin. After two years, it was beating the competition so badly that IARPA dropped the other teams to focus all its efforts on GJP."
Why's that relevant to democracy? Because part of political decision making is forecasting the future and this shows that groups of ordinary people can do it well.