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The Dangers of Cascading Dietary Trends This article from the New York Times directly discusses the cascade effect, and particularly how it can be dangerous in promoting false ideas, especially when the choices to support them or not are binary – which is often is, and how false cascades can be turned around. This article uses the example of dietary […]

Filtering Information on the Internet Fosters Extreme Opinions

The article “The Daily We: Is the Internet really a blessing for democracy?” argues that the emergence of the Internet allows people to filter what content they access, therefore limiting their scope of knowledge. Before the age of the Internet people would be forced to read newspapers, converge with others, or watch the news on […]

Facebook’s Friend suggestions

Nowadays, when someone talks about social network, our minds immediately roam to Facebook. This is not just because the movie on the site adopts the same two words as its title, that is merely a side effect. With a rapid rise to fame, Facebook has become THE social networking site in the world in just […]

Games and Game Theory Multiplayer gaming creates networks of social interaction. Online multiplayer gaming creates massive networks of social interaction. Throughout all of the interactions that occur among these links, players on both sides of the interaction make choices. The referenced reading talks about one of the major decisions a player makes – whether or not to exploit […]

Herd Mentality

It is “the most anticipated game in history”, touts Activision, eight seconds into the October trailer for their upcoming release, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (hereafter abbreviated “MW3”). Netizens are quick to harp onto the blatant over-exaggeration:  how can a company verify that something is more “highly anticipated” than something else?  Why would anyone, […]

Google and its Complexities

“We can think of PageRank as a kind of “fluid” that circulates through the network, passing from node to node across edges and pooling at the nodes that are most important.” (Textbook page 359). It is no secret that the internet has grown to a massive web of millions of links to information and is […]

Microsoft to implement facebook game “Project Waterloo” for game theory research.

Microsoft Uses Facebook As Giant ‘Lab’ To Study Game Theory Recently, Microsoft’s research department has released a game that is more or less “Risk” for Facebook. It’s called “Project Waterloo”. In each game there area a given amount of “territories”. Each player starts with 100 troops that they can distribute across the territories.  The player […]

Information Cascade

There is a company and a website,, that uses the concept of “social product development” to develop consumer products for the market place. Quirky is based in NYC and consists of its founder, Ben Kaufman, numerous creative and technical staff, and its on-line community to bring two new products to market each week. Anyone […]

WoW, Online Dating, Addiction, and Stigma

As the world plunges even deeper into the digital abyss, ‘networking’ is almost always seen as a very valuable tool for one’s personal and professional life. Yet, there seem to be many networks that are kept under wraps, including, but not limited to, PC gaming sites such as World of Warcraft. I myself have only […]

TCAT Game: Unfair. Choosing a mode of transportation is an “N Person Game,” meaning a game played by some number of people N.  All around the world, this game is played daily. The options are endless: bus, plane, train, subway, taxi, car, wagon, carriage, bike, rickshaw, etc. However, in Ithaca NY, the options are limited. Cornell […]

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Blogging Calendar

November 2011