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Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet
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Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  154 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
In OVERCONNECTED, Bill Davidow explains how the almost miraculous success of the Internet in connecting the world through the Worldwide Web has also created a unique set of hazards, in effect overconnecting us, with the direst of consequences.
The benefits of our recently arrived-at state of connectivity have been myriad from the ease with which it has been possible to bu
Unknown Binding, 241 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Delphinium Books (first published December 14th 2010)
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I have to admit, to a degree I was looking to read a book that trashed the internet, particularly one that offered critiques of the effects of socializing on it.

But this ain't that book.

However, what it is is actually not too bad, and it did satisfy the Luddite strain in me. It takes a macro/large event-scale approach rather than focusing on the personal-level consequences of what Davidow calls "overconnectivity," which in a nutshell is the author's contention that overly pervasive and complex s
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebook
Okay this is my favorite, thought provoking book of the year (and yes I know it is only January) but this one will rule the year. It has something for everyone. The historian, economist, entrepreneur, technician, psychologist, engineer, current events guru, and much more. It will make you thnk about what happen in recent events and why.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite informative and presents some interesting arguments about over-connectivity. It is not about Social Media like I thought when I first saw it in the bookstore. It talks about the social implications of becoming over-connected which is facilitated by the prevalence of the internet in our times. How positive feedback loops are driving more change, faster than the environment can cope with sometimes. How the internet and the resulting connectivity levels in various regions of the world has aff ...more
Katie Adee
Feb 20, 2012 rated it liked it
In many ways, OVERconnected served as an eye-opener for me regarding the role technology and the internet plays in our lives. Davidow uses a somewhat narrative style through the first person to lay out the (much abbreviated!) history of the internet and make his case accessible to his readers. He also shares some personal experiences he's had and his small role in creating an overconnected world that help us connect to him and the book. Another way Davidow makes the book accessible to a wide aud ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
William brought forward the idea of Internet and the World Wide Web has both made our modern lives better by connecting domains that were once separated, as well as the increased risks of being "overconnected" that clouds our ability in managing the complexity that has grown exponentially.

William showcased the idea through various stages of connected-ness in systems, and giving examples of the boom of industrial age in US brought forward by the rail networks that connect producers and consumers
Andy Daykin
Oct 05, 2012 rated it liked it
The author Davidow makes some good points about how the internet contributed to the global financial meltdown of 07/08, in particular with Iceland. He does a good job of building up his points with lots of data and intriguing anecdotes. However, this is also one of the negatives of the book. He doesn't attempt to explore the promise part of the internet as much as he could have and focuses mostly on the negatives without offering very clear solutions to the problems. The fact that he relies heav ...more
May 17, 2012 added it
I finished this book months ago and forgot to log back into Goodreads! A more scientific and factual friend suggested the science behind it was not accurate. I am not learned enough in the subject, but a lot of it made a great deal of sense to me. In my imagination, at least, the positive feedback concept is connected to the way some contemporary poetry and art have been boring to me, as if the creators are not separate enough from mass-produced thought (promulgated by the internet and social me ...more
Jimmy Ranieri
Jul 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Outstanding book of knowledge. I learned quite a bit about history, financial markets, semiconductors, and all sorts of random trivia and knowledge. I don't know how one man can know so much about so many things. I only gave this 3 stars however as the book was less about the internet than it was about interconnections and how the internet boosts interconnections. Still, it is a good read and you will know a lot more about the world when you finish.
Dec 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I misjudged this book initially. After re-reading this book I think the author has a point about networks and the problem they pose to stable systems.

That having been said, At any given point in the book up until the end I could not decide if Mr Davidow was a luddite or encouraging us to change our approach to networks. I am pleased to say that this book is not a call to reject technology, but to see and prevent the damage that very complex interconnected systems could cause.
Luis Capelo
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
The book focuses on the destructive aspects of an interconnected world. While those aspects do exist, the author does not comment on the other mechianisms resulting from this interconnection that allow our societies to thrive. Failure is highly potentialized by the internet in. the author point of view, failing to address its constructive side.
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book makes you think. The central thesis is that due to technology, especially the internet, our society has become so overconnected and changes so rapidly that it is almost impossible for institutions to adapt and design timely regulations. It leaves us more vulnerable to massive disruptions in employment, the financial markets and privacy. very thought-provoking book.
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read... Davidow talks about how a state of overconnectivity can adversely affect booming economies and individuals alike, bringing detailed examples from all over the world, and ranging from the early nineteenth century to the present-day. He paints a very vivid picture in the examples mixed with superb insights.
Frank Gruver
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I prefer fiction over non fiction , but I also like to read about technology so that’s how I read this book and found it to be an interesting read in that it talks about , for one, the mortgage crisis and how technology played a big part , the stock market, Iceland. Worth reading.
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
I liked this mostly for the history provided on the various financial collapses and transportation / technological innovations, which were well written and fascinating. The theory is a nice one, but I felt the author really just stated the same thing again and again.
Phil Simon
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech, business
The premise is at first a bit tough to swallow: the a state of overconnectedness caused things like the recent financial debacle. Still, Davidow makes his points clearly. By virtue of technology, bad things get really bad really quickly.

Good book.
Mike Stolfi
Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Is social networking a potential siren song to the society we've built? In many ways yes, but is it too late to regulate the effects? Perhaps, now that the proverbial cat's out of the bag. Worth thinking about even though it may never reach a legislator.
Thomas McGuire
Nov 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good theory backed up by clear, real-world examples. A warning as to the unforseen consequences of technological innovation.
Virginia Rand
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting, but the ideas were a bit hard to comprehend in places.
Ravi Jain

A very novel concept but poorly written. Would surely be a bestseller if it was well written.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it liked it
It seemed like it had promise of an in depth study, but was more brushstrokes, touching on several topics superficially that have been covered in other venues.
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Bill Davidow has been a high-technology industry executive and venture capital investor for more than thirty years, having worked at managerial positions at Intel Corp., Hewlett Packard, and General Electric. He is now an active advisor to Mohr Davidow Ventures, a venture capital firm. An electrical engineer by training, he has earned degrees at Dartmouth College, the California Institute of Techn ...more
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