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The Ebola Panic: An Information Cascade of Misinformation

It’s undeniable that the Ebola is an extremely deadly virus, and that it is important for the public to become informed about the dangers of the disease and to take measures to prevent it. However, misinformation and generalized panic about the disease is spreading rapidly through an information cascade from social media websites. As more […]

Using Web Networks for Marketing

The network of web pages is enormous. Near-infinite. Countless websites are chained together by links that direct users from one page to a similar page. An individual page links its users to another page with some kind of information or functionality that the user presumably wants to access. As pages become more or less popular, […]

Information Cascades in Fantasy Sports and Professional Scouting

The first article linked below is from a fantasy football website in which the author warns of how information cascades can lead to incorrect conclusions. A relatively recent invention, fantasy sports allow the common fan to essentially absorb the responsibilities of a general manager and draft and trade players to put together a competitive team. […]

Facebook’s Power in Elections

Social Media can have a powerful effect on the flow of information. This carries a large amount of significance for things like elections. A study that was done by Facebook showed that in relevance to voting that users being exposed to “hard news” had an increased amount of civic engagement. What this means is that […]

Information Cascades and Bandwagoning

The term information cascade refers to people observing the actions or opinions of others and then letting them influence their own decision about something. Information cascades are very interesting since they are all around us. Think of that time you and your friends didn’t know the answer to an iClicker question and you asked your […]

Information Cascade Resulting in Political Blunders

Article: This article addresses the relatively recent reauthorization of the NSA’s telephone meta-data program and possible causes of the oversight in the program’s legality. The author discusses how an information cascade within the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court may have caused the reauthorization by fifteen judges. Rather than an oversight by all 15 judges, an […]

Adoption of Cell Phones and the Driving Effects

I’m always told that I was born in the wrong generation, and depending on the situation, I take it as either criticism or a compliment. In this case, I consider this claim a compliment. Our generation is quickly becoming the most tech-savvy, iPhone-loving, and social media-craving people ever to walk this earth. Every day, it’s […]

Network effects in the Arab Spring revolutions The linked article gives a practical example of several topics covered in class: graph theory (social networks, and information flow in social networks), signals and information cascades, direct benefits, network effects and tipping points. During the Arab Spring revolutions (in Egypt, Tunisia and otherwise), social media played a large part –Facebook and Twitter were […]

The Spread of ISIS & Information Cascading

There has been a lot of talk in the news lately regarding the actions and methods used by the group known as ISIS or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The aim of ISIS is to create an Islamic state across the Sunni areas of these two countries. Throughout the news, ISIS is known […]

Popularity, Proteins, and the Matthew Effect

Several weeks ago in class, we discussed the power law and the tendency for popularity to follow the “rich get richer” pattern in which those that gain huge popularity become even more popular relative to their peers as a result. They often receive this initial popularity by chance, and once they have it it is […]

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Blogging Calendar

November 2014