McDonald’s = Windows; Chinese Restaurants = Linux

We have yet to read Jennifer 8. Lee’s new book The Fortune Cookie Chroniclers: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food but we plan to pick it up soon.

Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from today’s New York Times review of The Fortune Cookie Chroniclers:

Lee presents an intriguing idea in a chapter called “Open-Source Chinese Restaurants,” contending that “if McDonald’s is the Windows of the dining world (where one company controls the standards), then Chinese restaurants are akin to the Linux operating system, where a decentralized network of programmers contributes to the underlying source code.” She contrasts the decade of “failed experimentation” before the success of Chicken McNuggets to the breathtaking speed with which chop suey, fortune cookies and General Tso’s chicken took hold in Chinese restaurants everywhere thanks to a “self-organizing” system in which good ideas spread like urban legends.

Lee writes in the opening chapter that there are 40,000 Chinese restaurants in USA, more than the total of all McDonald’s, Burger Kings and KFCs in the country.

We’ve had our share of Chinese food in America but like most people of Indian origin in USA, we prefer the Indian-style Chinese food.

One Response to "McDonald’s = Windows; Chinese Restaurants = Linux"

  1. Indians in Paris   November 29, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    The excerpt from the book is hilarious indeed…bringing home the importance of internet and food…our two main motivators in life these days…

    i prefer to use linux and of course, i prefer chinese (whatever little my vegetarianism would allow) to McDo (the French nick) 🙂

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