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November 1, 2009 / Elizabeth

Wisdom of crowds

For NCT tutorials in Week 2, we talked about the topic of wisdom of crowds

What we learnt for wisdom of crowds was that the collective intelligence of a group of people is more accurate than an individual expert. For wisdom of crowds to occur, there must be..

  • Diversity of opinion – Each person should have private information even if it’s just an eccentric interpretation of the known facts.
  • Independence – One’s opinion is not determined nor influenced by others
  • Decentralisation – No one is controlling the group and dictating what to or not to do. People are able to specialize and draw on local knowledge.
  • Aggregation – Collection of individuals’ judgements

Its just like that saying,

two heads are better then oneFrom

Cliched, but true.

Before the tutorial, most (or all) of us had no idea that we were making use of this in our Internet lives everyday. During the tutorial, we learnt that search engines such as Google utilise the wisdom of crowds for their search results rankings.

For Google, they use a PageRank system where they give every site a ranking from 1-10. A website’s rage rank is determined by the number of links to that particular website. But of course if you have a website with a PageRank of 6, instead of several websites that have a PageRank of 3 linking you, your ranking would be much better.

If you are curious about your page ranking, check it HERE.

Its like what was mentioned in tutorial, not only are we being judged in real life, but also on the internet. And in some ways, its just like a popularity contest, don’t you think?

And of course I can’t forget huge websites such as Wikipedia and YouTube, or my favourite Kpop websites OmonaTheyDidnt! or Soompi that fully utilises the wisdom of crowds in order to keep their website up and running well.

Wikipedia allows users to contribute to articles and change the content on a Wikipedia article however they deem fit.  Individuals who edit a Wikipedia article are not influenced nor determined by others. According to the theory of wisdom of crowds, Wikipedia works in a way that the more people edit an article, the more reliable and/or accurate it gets.

It is true that in some cases, some netizens would turn the Wikipedia article into something like an Uncyclopedia article, i.e.: distort facts, insert vulgarities into the articles, etc. Time is needed to edit and correct the information, and it eventually does.

Its up to us to determine what to trust the content of  these websites.  Since our secondary school days, we’ve been taught to always cross-reference our sources. The same thing applies here, when in doubt, must cross-reference!

October 24, 2009 / Elizabeth

Minority Report

The 1st NCT Tutorial on Thursday had us setting up Twitter accounts and WordPress blogs. No Facebook account needed to be set up because duh, everyone in the level has one already. LOL.

We were told that the purpose of setting up these accounts was to utilise these online social media platforms as a way to brand ourselves, network with others and keep an online portfolio. MsKwa also kept reminding us about how a lot of companies these days are looking for people who have a “social presence” on these platforms.

Hmm.. So far, we’ve only been using them as a way to communicate with our friends and families, but now we’re learning about how to make use of these to help our future.  So its definitely interesting to learn more about the opportunities that these platforms offer to us. (This also helps us not to be so suaku also. Hahaha.)For Friday’s NCT tutorial, we were shown snippets of a sci-fi movie, Minority Report.


The movie is set in the year 2054 in Washington, D.C., with a special police force called the PreCrime Division. Murders in the city are prevented by the predictions/visions of three psychics. The protagonist, John Anderton (played by Tom Cruise), is the head of the PreCrime division. When he is accused of murdering a man he’s never met, he struggles to prove his innocence.

In this future, everyone is identified using iris recognition. And to think that a few years ago, some of us thought that fingerprint scanning was already ‘too cool for school’. Maybe sooner or later, we wouldn’t need passports or fingerprints for identification, just our irises. Cliched statement but it is true, “you can run, but you can’t hide”.


In Minority Report, advertisement billboards of the future (electronic, of course >_>) are specifically tailored to fit the person. They even call out your name, something along the lines of like, “How about a vacation, John Anderton?”

Quite creepy, don’t you think? Its like you don’t have privacy anymore. Wherever you go, you’ll be able to be tracked very easily. (That’s why it was so difficult for the movie’s protagonist to be on the run from the authorities.)

Thanks to technology, the world is getting smaller and smaller. Everyone on the internet can somehow be linked to one another. Oh, how we even used to marvel at Friendster’s ~amazing~ friends-linking systen during secondary school. I heard that everyone in the world can be linked to each other by er.. 6 people? (IDK I think I might have remembered this wrongly.)

Like maybe… TVXQ’s Jaejoong might be my mother’s sister’s friend’s neighbour’s son’s friend. LMAO you never know.

And yet, because of this, it becomes more important that we monitor our actions on the internet more carefully. Whatever we say or do on the internet is being watched by millions(?=/) online. Its quite a scary thought, right?  You’re being judged by people you don’t even know. Prospective employers even look at your profile on like Facebook or LinkedIn before deciding to hire you – their own little ‘work research’.

In our own little way, we’re all like celebrities,  eh? We have to beware of whatever we do or on the internet especially. And like celebs, people are going to be interested in what you like, what you do, etc.

October 22, 2009 / Elizabeth

Hello to the world of WordPress! ^^

The 1st week of the Year 3 Semester 2 is over. 1 week done, 5 more weeks to go. The speed at which we’re completing our Polytechnic education is scaring me. Haha.

Anyway, my sudden appearance on WordPress is due to our New Communication Technology (NCT) module. Haha.

This blog might have been set up for school, but I don’t plan to just blog about school alone. Teehee. I would wanna share more about my love for Kpop whenever I feel like it. More love for Kpop! ^^