Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $4.49 shipping
OVERCONNECTED: The Promise and Threat of the Internet Hardcover – January 4, 2011
Customers who bought this item also bought
Social media observers and economic historians will be most intrigued by Davidow’s thesis regarding the perils of our overconnected world. Shying away from the typical focus on Facebook or Twitter, he offers a serious, thought-provoking study that looks at everything from Three Mile Island to the Iceland banking crisis, and explains how they are related. Davidow points out that financial “booms, busts, swindles and contagions” are nothing new, but with the role of the Internet in our personal and professional lives, the connected way we do business means that financial markets are far too dependent on each other to separate in moments of crisis. From automated underwriting of mortgage loans to instant loan approval, the financial sector has not only become more efficient, it has also speeded up to a degree that allows no time for care or caution. We are literally moving faster than our ability to control what we do. While it might seem overly simple to blame technology for our current woes, Davidow builds a solid case for the price we pay for super-efficiency. --Colleen Mondor
"[Bill Davidow] shows how the unanticipated effects of the Internet are distorting economics, politics, and individual lives." --James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic
"Davidow argues compellingly that connectivity without coordination is a formula for chronic instability, and that hyperconnection without coordination is a formula for mega-catastrophe."
--David M. Kennedy, Pulitzer-Prize winning author
"[Davidow's] agile command of such a wide range of contemporary political and economic issues expands each page into a new, stimulating area of inquiry and original insight." --Stanley B. Prusiner, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1997
"I don't think I have ever read a book with more 'ah hah' moments. The book is brilliant, original, sobering and fascinating." --John Shoven, Director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
Every policy maker, politician, and businessperson should read [Overconnected] to gain a deeper understanding into how the Internet will transform government, the economy, and our lives."
--Bill Bradley, Former U.S. Senator
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
Unfortunately this book cannot determine if it wants to be overtly scholarly or pleasantly anecdotal. Even within paragraphs the book seems to switch back and forth. The book is not well organized and details too well the distant past at the expense the recent past like the subprime meltdown.
I certainly see intrigue in Davidow's premise and some items are well covered. The book does in fact lend some insight to compounding of errors by internet tools. However I am disappointed that Davidow as a technologist did not see that many specific issues could be addressed by technologists with the correct corporate and governmental oversight. The stronger point that Davidow makes is actually the compounded emotional frenzy that a high level of connection can cause. Although he addresses and defines it there is really no insightful discussion about social causes and issues can be both inflated and solved.
When Davidow wrote Marketing HT he was recently a leader in that field. Currently he is a venture capitalist. Sadly a book on that subject would have been much more insightful... Save your money on this one.
This is the theory that drives William Davidow's latest book, "OVERconnected: The promise and Threat of the Internet." Davidow argues that economic bubbles, manias and crashes as the result of thought contagions-- ideas that spread like diseases. The more highly connected the environment, the faster and further ideas can spread. If an idea spreads far enough it may begins self- reinforcing and spin out of control, driving the economic system faster and faster in one direction. This is known as a positive feedback loop.
In the past, the government or cultural institutions of a society could intervene to slow or stop a run-away feedback loop. But in the current over-connected environment, changes are so rapid that these institutions are overwhelmed and unable to cope. As a result, the entire global economic system is more crises prone than ever before.
Davidow provides a dozens of historical examples of how positive feedback loops create economic crises. He then explores how the interdependencies spawned by the Internet contributed to the 2008 economic meltdown in Iceland and the United States. He briefly touches on how the Internet has threatened consumer privacy, enabled the outsourcing of American jobs, and destroyed the printed newspaper industry. And finally, he proposes several possible solutions to lessen the economic risks associated with over-connectivity and the Internet.
While OVERconnected is at time thought provoking, I would not recommend it as an exploration of the internets impact on crises. Davidow's theories are compelling but poorly presented. The book includes too much irrelevant information and is poorly organized and poorly written.
Davidow spends chapter after chapter expounding upon definitions and explaining ideas that are only loosely related to his thesis. Rather than picking a few strong examples of crises over history, he includes pages and pages of information on every crisis from the 1630's tulip boom to the 2000 tech bubble. Rather than organizing historical examples chronologically or by topic, they are scattered haphazardly throughout the book.
All in all, less than 50 percent of the book is actually devoted to supporting his theory that the Internet creates a crisis-prone environment. Davidow barely addresses the economic risks posed by automated stock trading systems and skims over the impact of social media in spreading thought contagions. He offers no suggestions of how the Internet may contribute to crises in the future. Meanwhile, he devotes countless pages to the history of the refrigerated train car, the development of the American steel industry, the impact of the Model-T ford, and his own personal life and experiences.
OVERconnected offers sound theory, but is undone by the authors attempt to include too much information. Had Davidow focused more on supporting his primary thesis-- that the Internet expatiates and exacerbates crises--he could have produced a very different and much stronger book.
Most recent customer reviews
When I bought this, I thought the book was about the people who are over-connected on Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, etc.Read more