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Information Cascades, Network Effects, and Netflix

Over the summer, Netflix released its new plan to divide its business into a streaming service and a BD/DVD rental service. Netflix stopped its popular $9.99/month combined streaming and movie delivery service offering the two options separate for $7.99/month. Effectively if customers wanted to maintain the same service they had prior to the change, the […]

Pros and Cons of Online Advertising

The booming online advertising industry poses an interesting question: is online advertising really an efficient way of marketing. To answer this question, let’s first analyze the pros and cons of online advertising. One of the biggest advantages of online advertising is that it is based on the worldwide Internet which means the range of influence is […]

Can We Use the Wisdom of Crowds to Find Religious Truth?

James Surowiecki, the man behind the book “Wisdom of Crowds,” provides a survey of how the “aggregation of information in groups produces better decisions than the ones that could have been made by an individual.” He explains that in order for this to work, the crowds must meet four conditions. These include, diversity of opinion […]

Herman Cain and Obama in Prediction Markets

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/accuser-press-conference-cuts-herman-cain-odds-half-213109250.html http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/predictions-blogging-handicap-obama-election-chances-153025986.html The top article discusses how Herman Cain’s price in the prediction market for the Republican nomination has fallen from 6.8 to 3.8. This drop is due to the fourth woman who came on television to say that Cain sexually harassed her during his time in the restaurant business. It discusses how there is […]

Using Prediction Markets in Business

Data aggregation and analysis have become an integral part of business. Decision makers within companies rely on the vast amounts of data that are collected across all aspects of the company to drive growth and profitability. However, because it takes time for the data to be collected and analyzed before it can be acted upon, […]

Fall of The Blackberry Market

http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/05/google-android-overtakes-blackberry-in-operating-system-market-share/ The article sited above and the main focus of this blog center on the rise of Android and the fall of Blackberry. It gives a quota of the market share of each of the major cellular operating systems, which are Android (Google), iOS (Apple), and Blackberry OS (RIM). Before the iPhone premiered, Blackberry once […]

Information Cascade Explaining Revolutions and Riots

http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/7156 In class we have learned how people form information cascades and how they are influenced by other people’s decisions. This article explains how information cascades could explain social behaviors such as revolutions and riots. Revolutions occur when a considerable amount of rebellions are gathered. During the process, information cascades are formed and people are […]

Presidential Election Primary Dates

Every presidential election year, the issue of states’ primary dates comes up. Traditionally, Iowa votes on February 6, and then New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina vote later in the month. This year, however, South Carolina scheduled its Republican primary for January 21. Analysts predict that this move will cause states such as Iowa and […]

Is Pascal’s Wager an Appropriate Use of Game Theory?

One of the more famous uses of game theory to support one decision over another in everyday life is Pascal’s Wager. This is a decision that physicist Blaise Pascal made, in the mid-1600’s, determining that given the choice between believing in God and not, believing is the better option every time. This turns out to […]

The Effects of Information Cascades and Technology on Protests, Revolutions, and Riots

An information cascade occurs when people observe the actions of others and follow their decisions regardless of their own private information.  Although this often has effects on everyday things like fashion, technology, and choosing a book or a movie, it can also have important political implications.  These effects of information cascades have been increased by […]

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