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Breakpoint: Why the Web will Implode, Search will be Obsolete, and Everything Else you Need to Know about Technology is in Your Brain Hardcover – July 23, 2013
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From Kirkus Reviews
Drawing on an understanding of the behavior of natural networks ranging from ant colonies to the human brain, the author notes that all successful networks develop in the same way. After a period of enormous growth, they reach a breakpoint, or pivotal moment, when they have overgrown and begin to decline. They then enter a state of equilibrium, in which the network grows not in quantity but in quality: Ant colonies exhibit greater intelligence; the brain grows wiser. Arguing that the Internet mirrors the brain (in effect, it is a kind of brain), Stibel writes that the Internet is approaching, but has not yet reached, a breakpoint; instead, its carrying capacity has been extended with broadband technology. To continue expanding at its current meteoric pace, it will have to evolve to use different energy sources, such as a chemical system, to increase the amount of information it can handle. In time, the Internet will hit the breakpoint, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. “Just as the brain gains intelligence as it overshoots and collapses,” writes Stibel, “so too may the Internet.” The author conjures a future online world that is smarter, denser and more relevant, relying on links with depth and dimensionality—the same kind found in a brain at equilibrium. Stibel applies his approach to a consideration of many issues, arguing that forced growth caused MySpace to collapse and may yet do the same with Facebook; that specialized apps will eliminate the need for search engines; and that eventually, there will be a unity of mind and machine, with two networks coming together as one.
Lucid and authoritative.
Top Customer Reviews
The author is highly effective at presenting his thesis slowly and deliberately and leading the reader to the same conclusions which seem almost incredulous from the front cover. Before starting, I would have thought that predictions of the demise of Google Search and Facebook were completely insane, whereas now I see them as inevitable. The overarching observations about the way biological and man-made networks function are absolutely astonishing and though they are obvious once you see them, they clearly dictate the performance and behavior of such networks we use every day. The book explains the natural limits that prevent an extra lane on the highway from fixing traffic problems as well as the unseen but significant overhead in retaining excess capacity after growth (the Breakpoint of the title).Read more ›
This last passage frames the nature and extent of Stibel's subsequent discussion (Chapters Two-Eleven) during which he suggests lessons to be learned from natural phenomena that are relevant to human networks in general and to the brain in particular. Several of these lessons will be of special interest and value to business leaders who are challenged to achieve and then sustain profitable growth with fewer resources and in less time within an increasingly more volatile competitive marketplace. For example, lessons to be learned from colonies of ants and termites about residential design/construction/maintenance, division of labor, renewable food sources, communication, preventive maintenance, climate control, and collaborative response to crisis.Read more ›
A fairly quick read -not because it's short (256pp.) but because it is written in a very engaging way. If you are interested in learning about networks, internet trends, and a bit about the brain (and you should!) -then you'll find this book really fun and informative. Some really cool predictions, analogies, and facts to think about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jeff Stibel tells a concise story of key recent technology advancements like search and social networks and their parallels with the biology of the brain, specifically our neural... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very intelligent discussion of how the internet will grow and change. I listened to the Audible version. Very easy to follow and immensly informative.
This is a truly amazing book. If you want to understand the dynamics of the internet and where it is taking us, this is absolutely required reading.Published 18 months ago by coffee lover
In this book, Jeff details a fascinating vision of the internet's future and outlines a framework for applying his thesis to the business realm. Read morePublished 24 months ago by I.M.
I recently read the book Breakpoint: Why the Web will Implode, Search will be Obsolete, and Everything Else you Need to Know about Technology is in Your Brain by Jeff Stibel and... Read morePublished on March 17, 2014 by A. Maurer
I get easily bored by technology books but I read an excerpt of this book on Wired.com and decided to download the Kindle edition. I'm so glad I did. Read morePublished on March 3, 2014 by L. Long
A very important book that starts by showning how identies initially grow fast but later contract to a more efficient size. Read morePublished on February 26, 2014 by Arthur J. Deane
What do ants, reindeer and sea squirts have to do with the internet? As far as I knew, nothing, but brain scientist and entrepreneur Jeff Stibel set me straight with his book:... Read morePublished on February 23, 2014 by Ken Dickson: Author of Detour from Normal and The Road to Amistad