One of the key lessons of the Wisdom of Crowds is that we don’t always know where good information is. That’s why, in general, it’s smarter to cast as wide a net as possible, rather than wasting time figuring out who should be in the group and who should not. This idea is well suited to the internet. The more information a group has, the better its collective judgement will be, so you want as many people with good information in a group as possible. The Wisdom of Crowds is not an argument against experts, but against our excessive faith in the single individual decision maker. If a group is smart enough to know whether an individual is a genuine decision-making prodigy, then the group is smart enough to not need that individual. Even brilliant experts have biases and blind spots, so they can make mistakes. What’s troubling is that, in general, they don’t know when they’re making those mistakes. Experts don’t know when they don’t know something. That’s why it’s worthwhile to cast a wider net and why relying on a crowd of decision makers improves (though doesn’t guarantee) your chances of reaching a good decision. Be careful to keep the group diverse, and careful to prevent people from influencing one another too much. The crowd’s judgement is going to give us the best chance of making the right decision, and in the face of that knowledge, traditional notions of power and leadership should begin to pale. I am cautiously hopeful that they will, allowing us to begin to trust individual leaders less and ourselves more. Wisdom of crowds works on problems where there’s a true answer, or when some choices are better than others in some sense. The reason this works is that people are operating on private info, which may be bad or fragmented.

Semester project

For our semester project Dominick and I would like to produce a short documentary.  The basis of the documentary would be considered a social project.  For those of you who don’t know Dominick and I are members of the Manhattanville college baseball team and we at times believe that there are stereotypes about athletes and non athlete students that are portrayed through the media.  Through this semester project Dominick and I planning on stepping out of the social norms here at Manhattanville by filming our journey to “the other side of flik”.  We will gather film from moving to different tables throughout flik to see what it is like from other students perspectives and see how other students will react to us joining them for a meal.  For the most part Dominick will be the one starting conversations and doing some interviewing while I try to film without anyone noticing.  In the beginning i will try to use my cell phone camera and see how that works for us.  We will move from week to week to a different table and collect film.  Once we get enough film and feel satisfied with our data we will begin to piece it all together into a short coherent documentary showing “the other side of flik”.

Manipulating media

This weeks blog I wanted to talk about how online websites sometimes manipulate some videos and make them seem different then how they were first recorded. I wanted to talk about this because recently viewed a video on a website that was called “cops plant drugs on man and arrest him”. In this video you watch from a police car camera what seems to be two police officer planting drugs in a mans pockets and then arresting the man. After seeing this I want to see if there were any people out there that responded to this particular video saying whether it was real or not. To my surprise I came across a news website with what seemed to be the same video except there was another two minutes add to the video. After watching this video I was able to see what had actually happened in the situation. What had actually happened was the officers pulled the man over and took him out of the car and searched him for drugs. They initially found the drugs,took them from the man, and then put the drugs back in his pocket and put him under arrest. At this point I realized that the original video was cut down so that all the viewer would see is the police officers placing the drugs in the mans pockets. After viewing the videos it made me really that any media on the Internet can be changed and manipulated in any way. In this situation the first website that I watched the video on made the viewer want to believe that the police officers had actually planted drugs on the man so that they can arrest him. Luckily I was able to find the original video and see the truth behind the situation. This shows how easily the video was changed to make it as though the officers were the bad guys in what was going on, when in fact they were just doing their job.


This weeks on the media caught my attention with this linsanity portion.  Me myself being a basketball fan and a follower of Jeremy Lin and seeing how all of this unfolded was very interesting.  The part that caught my attention was when they talk about what the boxer Floyd Mayweather had tweeted about him getting all of this attention because he is a Asian American.  I had heard about this incident before I even listened to this weeks podcast and it made me think about how disrespectful this was towards Jeremy Lin.  The fact that Lin was getting all of this media was because he is Asian American is someone opening their mouths without actually seeing this kid play.  In a way what Mayweather said can be looked at as a racist statement, but in my  case i have more of a problem with him saying that there are plenty of other players in the nba that are doing the same thing, when in reality there aren’t.  Lin was about a week away from being cut from the knicks, when he got a chance to play and he went from there to one of the best most talked about players in the nbe.  If anyone follows the knicks, they can tell you that their season was heading in the wrong direction until Lin got his chance to shine.  Lins energy on the court turned the whole knicks team around and since he started his run the team has won 9 games and only lost 2.  This also isn’t just my opinion, all news casters say all the time that he is a great player, so the fact that Mayweather said such an absurd statement shows that he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

Tweeting Graphic videos

After listening to this weeks “On the Media” the part that interested me the most was the tweeting graphic videos from Syria.  After hearing their opinions  on the subject I decided that I would put my own opinion in on whether tweeting the video was a good idea or not.  I feel that tweeting the graphic video of the boy with his jaw blown off may not be the best way to handle the situation.  I think that by simply writing about the video and telling your followers would have done the same amount of justice as posting video.  I think that showing this video with this boy with his jaw hanging is not necessary to get you point across.  If he had just written about what had happened and then there were people who replied asking him to post the video then maybe it would have been more reasonable but to just go out there and post something this graphic is uncalled for.  Even though through posting this on twitter made people more aware and may have helped this boy as they said by getting a team ready to extract him, I don’t feel making this boys last moments alive public to millions of people was the right thing to do.  This also shows that these social networking sites should keep heads up on what people are putting up on them.  It seem that censoring is becoming more difficult for these types of social sites to keep track of what is being put up.  if something like this can be allowed to be posted what will the sites do if a different video comes out of a terrorist group murdering captured US soldiers.  These sites need to be able to filter these kinds of videos so that millions of people don’t watch young boys being brutally killed.

The Facebook show response

After listening to this weeks on the media I can agree with what they were talking about Facebook On the media.  Facebook has become something that really surrounds the lives of its users.  Saying that Facebook is its own country is in some way true.  People that actually participate in Facebook truly believe that the more friends that they gain on Facebook, the better they will feel about themselves.  Facebook has become almost like a virtual world where many people that aren’t good at socializing with people around them can go and comment or like things that other people upload or write.  Something else that Facebook has done is change the way that we meet new people.  For instance if you go and meet someone at a party and all you get is there name, later on when you get back to your computer you can friend request that person and try to become closer with that person.  So not only is it a place where you can communicate with your friends, you can start relationships from just getting the person’s name.  Also by seeing some of the things that a certain person likes, you are now able to compare it to what you like and see if you and this other person have any similarities.  Facebook gives someone the ability to see what the persons favorite sports team is or what their favorite movie is.  Facebook in itself has in a way become this country with close to a billion users.  It will be interesting to see how Facebook will manage to keep up with the people so that it doesn’t become another Myspace or Friendster.