The Indecision of Crowds

At the moment, I’m reading The Wisdom of Crowds. It’s a really interesting book, all about how crowds can organize themselves to achieve great things… and how sometimes they organize themselves in such a way that things go horrifyingly wrong. I picked this book to read next in part because of an experience I had with my “crowd” the other week. Trying to find a restaurant to eat at wasn’t as simple as it should be… I think what this conversation shows is that – our crowd has varying levels of information and interest, and needs more leadership. Or perhaps it just shows that making restaurant decisions by committee is pointless! But you can decide for yourself…

Cate

12 May at 16:06

So for this Friday I’m wondering if people are up for hot pot in China town?
Other suggestions welcome ๐Ÿ™‚
D
12 May at 19:27
hmmmm thinking of ideas…..
S

12 May at 21:04
hmm. good idea but I am not sure if i am in town!

S

12 May at 23:25
There’s only one place to have Hot Pot in China Down. That’s Yantzee and I’ll be up for it..
S
12 May at 23:27
D, you know you want in for Hot Pot! It is good…
K
13 May at 07:34
I will probably be missing in action until at least next weekend. Pray for mojo

A

13 May at 14:53
Yeah, I’m up for Hot Pot
D
13 May at 20:25
Just and FYI for everyone I ran Yangtze in the food inspection reports. It was found NOT to be in compliance with the health regulations.Including:

Critical Issue:

-Food protected from potential contamination and adulteration
->Store food 15 cm off the floor to prevent contamination

And non-critical issues:

-Floors, walls, and ceilings clean and in good repair
->Ensure floors are kept clean and in good repair

-Mechanical ventilation operable where required
->Maintain ventilation system in manner not permitting health hazard

R

13 May at 20:28
aah D why would you do that, i always assumed no restaurant followed code ever
R

13 May at 20:29
i am not in town this weekend!
D

13 May at 20:30
There are plenty of places that pass inspections. ๐Ÿ™‚
R

13 May at 20:31
why would one want to go there? gotta have some risque in life bratha
D

13 May at 20:33
Seriously man they failed “don’t store food on the floor”
R

13 May at 20:34
yaa that was the best part of the deal..i am surprised it didnt say store food in containers
Cate

13 May at 20:34
OK that’s a veto on Yangtze. New location, anyone?
D

13 May at 20:35
Well you can go have a meal there then.
R

13 May at 20:35
ooh cmon cate
Cate

13 May at 21:39
They failed at don’t store food on the floor AND the floor was dirty! A refuses to eat there too and we all know that adorable creature though he is his standards are quite low. New location!
Y

13 May at 22:08
LOL – this conversation is hillarious
Cate

13 May at 22:19
NEW LOCATION!!!!!
S

13 May at 23:10
Okay, after that D no more Yantzee. Even my low standards are failed by that. How about Mongolian Hotpot? They’re by Bank/Billing Bridge area?
S

13 May at 23:30
Hey D, how did Maru do?
Cate

14 May at 07:42
Mongolian is ok but hard to get to?
D

14 May at 07:57
Maru has not be inspected since the new system was launched.As for Mongolian Hotpot it has been inspected 3 times in the last few weeks (they come back if there are major problems)

On April 28th they were cited for nine things (3 critical, 3 non critical):

-Separate raw foods from ready-to-eat foods during storage and handling

* Store raw foods separate and below cooked / ready-to-eat foods

(apparently they corrected this one during the inspection)

-Food protected from potential contamination and adulteration

* Cover all food in storage
* Store food 15 cm off the floor to prevent contamination
* Store foods in containers that can be readily cleaned and sanitized

-Toxic / poisonous substances (chemicals/pesticides) to be stored separately from food

* Store all toxic / poisonous substances below / separate from food

[and the non critical ones]

Food contact surfaces properly designed, constructed, installed and maintained

* Ensure equipment / utensil(s) / dishware are readily cleanable and in good repair

–Equipment, non-food contact surfaces and linen are maintained, designed, constructed, installed and accessible for cleaning

* Ensure all surfaces are clean and maintained in good repair

Food contact surfaces washed / rinsed / sanitized after each use and following any operations when contamination may have occurred

-Frequency of garbage removal adequate to maintain the premises in a sanitary condition

* Provide sufficient garbage containers of durable / leak proof / non-absorbent material
* Remove and store garbage as necessary to maintain sanitary conditions

-Floors, walls, and ceilings clean and in good repair

* Cleaning required around, under, and behind kitchen equipment, counters, and baseboards
* Ensure walls are kept clean and in good repair

-General housekeeping is satisfactory

* Maintain the premises in a clean and sanitary condition

[so the inspector came back the very next day!]

and found 2 criticals and 1 non-critical

Food protected from potential contamination and adulteration

* Cover all food in storage
* Store food 15 cm off the floor to prevent contamination
* Store foods in containers that can be readily cleaned and sanitized

Toxic / poisonous substances (chemicals/pesticides) to be stored separately from food

* Store all toxic / poisonous substances below / separate from food

[they corrected that during the inspection..]

[and the non critical]

Floors, walls, and ceilings clean and in good repair

* Cleaning required around, under, and behind kitchen equipment, counters, and baseboards
* Ensure walls are kept clean and in good repair

[and the inspector came back May 4th for another go at this mess]

This premise was found to be in compliance with the Ontario Food Premises Regulation.

Cate

14 May at 10:27
Ok veto. Jadeland in Chinatown?
D

14 May at 10:46
Jadeland is somewhat better…although it did not pass eitherCritical:

Separate raw foods from ready-to-eat foods during storage and handling

* Store raw foods separate and below cooked / ready-to-eat foods

(corrected during inspection)

Non-Critical:

Mechanical ventilation operable where required

* Ventilation system requires thorough cleaning

S

14 May at 11:12
where do you get these info?
D

14 May at 13:10
S just tried to hit me over the head with a conference phone box and then proceed to explain that me an Cate are going to be the first to die in a super bug outbreak.
S

14 May at 13:22
I did try to hit D. But I did not say Cater and D are going to die with the superbug. I just say that these places help boost your immune system and make you stronger in case of the Beef Flu.
Cate

14 May at 13:43
Boys, play nice!!D can you search for places that got good assessments?
Cate

14 May at 13:43
Btw does this service have an api?
R

14 May at 14:08
hahaa…aah what an optimistic bunch looking for a restaurant in china town that passes health inspection..
K

14 May at 14:11
Ha ha ha. I think we have the winner of the thread! :p
Cate

14 May at 14:13
How about just in Ottawa?
D

14 May at 14:22
I don’t know restaurants in Chinatown…But it is really easy to search *all* the restaurants in a particular city ward.

FYI there are a number around the uni such as father and sons, Royal Oak etc…that seem to pass.

Cate

14 May at 15:47
OK… not wild about pub food but if that’s all that’s safe to eat in town…
K

14 May at 15:52
And here my restaurant choices usually involve walking past a place and saying oh I’d like to try that. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
S

14 May at 17:36
Seriously… many of us has eaten at Chinatown for months/years now without contracting serious illness like food poisoning or herpes, it should be safe.
Cate

14 May at 18:01
Yep and I spent nearly 3 months in china and didn’t die. But I didn’t *know* what was going on!
S
14 May at 18:11
exactly, lets just do it.. what’s the worst? food poisoning or herpes..
Cate

14 May at 18:23
Tell ya what S, you can go if you like. I won’t be there! Who’s with me?
S

14 May at 18:30
I don’t want herpes so I won’t go. We’re with ya Cate. Just tell us where to go….
S

14 May at 18:30
and I’m with Cate…
S

14 May at 18:37
I’ll suggest Koreana, I’ve checked and nothing bad…
Cate

14 May at 18:47
OK!
G

14 May at 18:59
You guys are impressive!!!
I got tons of emails for a day, BUT seems got a place to eat at the end.
A suggestion: Don’t think and research much before you go a restuarant, especially Asian ones. This will hep you enjoy the food ๐Ÿ™‚
D
14 May at 19:03
S how did you find that one in the registry…I can’t locate it
R
14 May at 19:11
i suggest sterling in hull or foundation in the market ! i am quite confident there shouldnt be a problem with inspection with either of these two
D

14 May at 19:28
Hull is annoying to get to and from and foundation is a bit pricey IMHO…this is why I was suggesting something a bit simpler and more conventional such as a pub or simple restaurant.
S

14 May at 20:19
Now I found the reason why I always feel sick for 2 days after I go to a restaurant in chinatown! lol
Cate

14 May at 20:30
hahahaha don’t you wish you didn’t know? ๐Ÿ˜‰
Cate

14 May at 20:40
Right to resolve this situation I’m going to cook tomorrow night. You’re all welcome but please I need to know numbers and any dietary requirements. Food will not be gourmet but I can assure you that anything below 15 cms from the floor invariably goes in the bin.
Y

14 May at 20:56
Cate, you shouldn’t cook for all of us. I’m sure we can find a decent restaurant in Ottawa.
Cate
14 May at 21:17
No it’s fine I’ve decided. Dinner will be ready a bit after 7 but feel free to be early.If you feel really bad, I like tulips ๐Ÿ™‚
D

14 May at 21:25
You know what…why don’t we just pick a pub?It is simple, easy, cheap, laid back, fun, and we might even be able to sit on a patio since it is a nice day tomorrow (depending on time as well).

Plus we don’t all feel guilty about Cate doing all the work.

S

14 May at 21:34
Cate: I’ll be there, and I feel bad now ๐Ÿ™
S

14 May at 21:34
Cate: Tulips or Vitamin Water?
S

14 May at 21:38
Seriously Cate, we can find a resturant. Next time be dictatorial and say X is final!
D

14 May at 22:02
Father and Sons
The Royal Oak
The elephant and castle
The highlander
The Pour House
The Hard Rock Cafe
Darcy McGees
Cock and Lion

I can keep going….

Cate

14 May at 22:36
My place is final.Tulips and vitamin water are both fine. S, I expect both from you :-p hahaha

14 thoughts on “The Indecision of Crowds

  1. Wisdom of Crowds: I’ve not read it, but don’t crowds / the masses also make bad decisions and automatically follow the stonger few. Hitler’s rallies, for example.

  2. Wisdom of Crowds: I’ve not read it, but don’t crowds / the masses also make bad decisions and automatically follow the stonger few. Hitler’s rallies, for example.

  3. One of the things the book explores is what makes a crowd stupid and what makes one wise. There are conditions that will lead to that kind of behavior, for sure, but wikipedia is created by the crowd and it’s hard to argue that crowd is stupid although people have tried.

  4. One of the things the book explores is what makes a crowd stupid and what makes one wise. There are conditions that will lead to that kind of behavior, for sure, but wikipedia is created by the crowd and it’s hard to argue that crowd is stupid although people have tried.

  5. Using Wikipedia as an example as a creation of a “crowd” is, if I may say, somewhat naive. It is highly selective in it’s users / audience. They are people who are curious, interested and looking to expand their education. What proportion of people do that? A small minority. In my experience the masses follow, they don’t lead. I’d guess that less than 1% of the masses would use Wikipedia or any other source of extensive educational material. It’s taken me many years to realise this.

  6. Perhaps social media changes what constitutes a crowd, or just allows crowds to form in new ways (where they are less prone to being destructive). A crowd can have a leader, and in terms of wikipedia an interesting point is that although activity follows a power-law curve – a very small minority make many of the edits, and then there a people who just make one edit etc, this imbalance does not cause problems the way it would if you ran a company like that. No doubt crowds can be stupid, but especially in terms of the new web 2.0 paradigm, if we approach it differently, crowd-sourcing can be a useful tool.

  7. Perhaps social media changes what constitutes a crowd, or just allows crowds to form in new ways (where they are less prone to being destructive). A crowd can have a leader, and in terms of wikipedia an interesting point is that although activity follows a power-law curve – a very small minority make many of the edits, and then there a people who just make one edit etc, this imbalance does not cause problems the way it would if you ran a company like that. No doubt crowds can be stupid, but especially in terms of the new web 2.0 paradigm, if we approach it differently, crowd-sourcing can be a useful tool.

  8. The new(ish) pattern of thinking as exemplified by your example of the web 2.0 does not mean anything to the masses. I refer you to the crowd-popular newspapers. The crowd read the “Sun” and the “Mirror”. Those papers influence the crowd with such things a the celebrity culture. An example is the Sun’s coverage of the sad story of the death of a so-called celbrity Jane Goody. The paper devoted 16 full pages when she sadly died, at the exclusion of much more important matters.

  9. The new(ish) pattern of thinking as exemplified by your example of the web 2.0 does not mean anything to the masses. I refer you to the crowd-popular newspapers. The crowd read the “Sun” and the “Mirror”. Those papers influence the crowd with such things a the celebrity culture. An example is the Sun’s coverage of the sad story of the death of a so-called celbrity Jane Goody. The paper devoted 16 full pages when she sadly died, at the exclusion of much more important matters.

  10. I think we’re using a different definition of “crowd”. But a big proportion of people (particularly younger people) get a large proportion of their news online. The traditional newspaper is dying, because new interactive media is that much more engaging. Take Google’s news timeline: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2009/apr/21/google-newspapers

    If you read the book, he uses a different definition of crowd which encompasses crowds that form “virtually” on social media. You do have some of the same problems online, such as flame wars. But anyway, even if it’s not the majority of people forming crowds online I don’t see that this means they are not forming. The majority of people don’t form flashmobs, but we can’t deny their existence.

  11. I think we’re using a different definition of “crowd”. But a big proportion of people (particularly younger people) get a large proportion of their news online. The traditional newspaper is dying, because new interactive media is that much more engaging. Take Google’s news timeline: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2009/apr/21/google-newspapers

    If you read the book, he uses a different definition of crowd which encompasses crowds that form “virtually” on social media. You do have some of the same problems online, such as flame wars. But anyway, even if it’s not the majority of people forming crowds online I don’t see that this means they are not forming. The majority of people don’t form flashmobs, but we can’t deny their existence.

  12. I accept that younger people get most of their news online, rather than newspapers. My point is that the majority do not get important information. I suggest that a minority of young people use the internet for games and if interacting, gossiping about celebrities. Just look at Twitter and you’ll see it’s mainly about “Britain’s Go Talent”, “Big Brother”, “Apprentice” etc.

    I also accept that we may have a different definition of crowd, I’d better read the book.

    Regards

  13. I accept that younger people get most of their news online, rather than newspapers. My point is that the majority do not get important information. I suggest that a minority of young people use the internet for games and if interacting, gossiping about celebrities. Just look at Twitter and you’ll see it’s mainly about “Britain’s Go Talent”, “Big Brother”, “Apprentice” etc.

    I also accept that we may have a different definition of crowd, I’d better read the book.

    Regards

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