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Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  4,657 ratings  ·  287 reviews
A cocktail party? A terrorist cell? Ancient bacteria? An international conglomerate?

All are networks, and all are a part of a surprising scientific revolution. Albert-László Barabási, the nation’s foremost expert in the new science of networks and author of Bursts, takes us on an intellectual adventure to prove that social networks, corporations, and living organisms are m
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 29th 2003 by Plume (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  4,657 ratings  ·  287 reviews

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Apr 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
I liked this very much. The main thesis is that science up to fairly recently has been Platonic (which this book instead, and I think mistakenly, characterises as reductionist) and therefore fixated on describing things and their forms. This idea is that if you have a picture you want to study you will learn all that there is to learn about it by pulling all of the jigsaw pieces apart and studying these individual pieces in detail. As String Theory shows, we can always speculate on smaller and s ...more
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
One of those anti-reductionist, complexity-obsessed, nonsensical collections of persuasive anecdotes and loose (useless) analogies.

The main critique of reductionism is that it not always useful.
Some problems can't be easily solved from 1st principles.
The author points out the solution would be a departure from reductionism.

But this straw-man strict reductionist doesn't exist in the first place.
Rocket scientists don't model engines on the quark-scale!
Barabasi works hard to hide the freedom and ut
Jimmy Ele
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: uber-favorites
Supremely interesting book that delves into network theory and how it's understanding and growth in every branch of science from Biology to Computer Science and Economics will undoubtedly change the way we view the world. It is very exciting to be alive during this time in which the underlying mathematical laws that govern networks are being revealed. Being a student of complexity ever since I read Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book "Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder" and followed it up with ...more
Kayson Fakhar
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Awesome book if you want to know why should we think in networks
Jul 17, 2007 rated it liked it
This is great stuff. A very sexy topic as far as physics is concerned. And while that may be just a cliche description that I'm fond of using- sex is actually a relevant topic in the field of networks. Did you know that a sexual network has the same topological structure as the world wide web? Well it does! Prostitutes are like google and your personal website is probably like a virgin. Anywho, while the content is extremely interesting, if you have any prior knowledge of networks, you might fin ...more
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very well-written exposition of network theory for a general audience, with extensive end-notes where the author has hidden some of the math. It deals not only with the ideas of networks but also the mathematicians and scientists who study them, resulting in some appealing anecdotes. Beginning with Euler and his 7 bridges of Königsberg problem which gave birth to graph theory, Barabási follows the development of ideas about the nature of social relation nets, the structure of the internet, as ...more
Nathan Scarborough
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was incredible. I want to pursue this field full time, professionally after reading this book.
I would like to see an updated edition of this book come out soon, one that includes the latest research in protein, gene, and microbiome networks.

In the first few chapters, the author guides the reader through the early decades of research in complexity. When networks were first realized, their connections were thought to be random. However, power laws were discovered to be involved in the emergence of every self organizing system. This was a thrilling insight that has held up in subsequent fin
Jason Griggs
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book has a lot of interesting information about the structure of the Internet. Unfortunately, it was poorly written. It reiterates simple points and fails to spend enough time explaining the complex points. The author seemed to have in mind certain phrases that had to appear in the book and includes these and strange metaphors in places where they don't fit. It also goes off on too many tangents about the publication process of university professors. I listened to the book on CDROM, and it ...more
Troy Blackford
Jan 23, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a very interesting and extremely in-depth look into the science of networks - anything from 'who actors have worked with,' to 'computer networks,' to good ol' real life 'analog' social networks (i.e. 'who you know, and who they know'). Basically, anything with nodes connecting to other things. This book looks at the science of networks primarily from a 'mathematical model' perspective, and as such it was frequently beyond my comprehension. Indeed, though this book was engaging and covere ...more
Akash Goel
Jun 20, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Prem Sylvester
Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it
A quick and easy-to-read introduction to the concepts and applications of network studies, if outdated (this came out in 2002). Barabasi's work is highly influential in the field, and reading this, it's easy to understand why. Some compelling ideas here.

At the same time, even this overview revealed some of the critical flaws in network thinking, especially when it came to apparent socioeconomic applications of its ideas. This was particularly evident in the Network Economy chapter, where many of
Vladimir Stozhkov
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popular-science
A good non-fiction book for people who would like to be introduced to network science without learning rigorous mathematical formulae. Also, this book can be useful for network science researchers in order to formulate their scientific ideas about network science in laymen terms.
Alejandro V. Betancourt
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fantastic read on network theory. Most of the concepts aged well, but some of the examples and experiments are outdated. Looking forward to reading more recent works from Barabási.
Ankita Kumari
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was illuminating to understand the application of network in so many different domains. The book starts off sharp and focused but loses some momentum towards the tail end and is more verbose than necessary.
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
This is an excellent read. It isn't filled with much technical speak and is written in a very easy to read manner. The flow of the book is also very good.

I found this book far more enjoyable than 'Sync' which I found hard to follow at times, even though both books deal with similiar subject material. Barabasi has created something here that anyone can read and understand.

In summary the book looks at network theory and the discoveries that have been made recently that change the manner in which w
Arin Basu
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Arin by: from a course.
This is an excellent introduction to the world of social network analysis. Very easily written for an introductory audience and introduces all the essential concepts, yet an excellent treatise on the more intricate and state of the art issues around social network analysis. It's always a pleasure to read firsthand accounts from the authors of the power-law distribution in social networks, the issues around growth models, and preferential attachments.

The book goes over a range of issues, startin
Jul 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: science, nonfiction
This took me a long time to finish. It was hard to stay interested, especially when they were talking about the internet. Even though the book isn't that old, it felt quite dated. I get that the early days of the internet were exciting in figuring out how the networks worked, but they kept sounding really surprised that some web pages have more links to them than others, a fact to which any person NOT entrenched in the network theory mindset would have said, "yeah, well, duh."

I was most interes
Feb 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, too broad an overview to leave the reader with much of anything. Cursory explanations of a graph's constitutive elements, of power laws, and hub-and-spoke models are the extent to which this book actually dives into its own subject matter. The rest of the book is devoted to nothing more but relentlessly hammering in the idea that networks are, like, everywhere, man. Important topics – such as why certain network architectures are more apt for certain cases than others – and key co ...more
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
An engaging, well-written, highly accessible account of the theory behind networks, and the growing importance of this theory in the modern world.

Barabasi could serve as a role model for all aspiring science writers - this fascinating book takes a difficult subject and renders it accessible to non-expert readers. To quote 'The Boston Globe':

" Linked should be mandatory reading for academics as a primer in good writing. Barabasi may be a scientist, but he didn't neglect his liberal arts educati
Dr. Barrett  Dylan Brown, Phd
Interesting enough, though repetative. A pop-cultural textbook for very complicated mathematics/statistics, but never-the-less very relevant and very interesting. The first half of the book builds the groundwork for the information explained in the second half, though for the most part the book just repeats the same concepts over and over (maybe needed for something so compicated).

To be honest I already had intuitively come to some of the same conclusions these mathemeticians and physicists came
Laurent De Serres Berard
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Would have given 5 stars, if it wasn't some parts a bit repetitive at the end. Simple, but amazing books that make the holistic, universal aspects of networks and their principles accessible to everybody. Written in the beginning of 2000s, you can actually see how he accidentally predicted many aspects of the digital, online economy, and how democracy could be affected by online news through those ''hubs'' of information. For me, i was fascinated because i could saw how this could be applied to ...more
Javaughn Lawrence
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great introduction to network science. Barabasi provides an overview of the fundamentals of network science, covering random network theory, scale-free networks and the role of hubs. He combines this with detailed illustrations of various phenomena, such as the spread of Christianity, the propagation of cancer in cells and the spread of computer viruses. I highly recommend this for anyone any remote interest in

Sep 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Similar to "The Tipping Point" -- it's more academic and uses examples beyond social settings, and takes some of the same ideas further in more depth. Not quite as accessible as The Tipping Point, but also more realistic and less 'romanticizing' of the science. ...more
Sep 06, 2011 is currently reading it
Sharp logic and good writing, backed up by sound proof.
Eustacia Tan
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nlb-ereads
So, I had to read this for a class, which meant that I took notes on every single chapter. So... my review really just consists of my notes. So this review is really just more for me to remember things than for anyone else.

First line:
February 7, 2000 should have been a big day for Yahoo.

The First Link: Introduction - the book opens with the story of mafiaboy, the teenager that managed to bring down Yahoo. Then it changes, quite inexplicably, to Christianity and gives everything to credit. I rea
Christian Euler
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Linked is written in an engaging way, and the ideas are all simplified well for laypeople. I particularly liked that it was structured in the same way as the networks it describes -- this is smart, and subtle (though maybe lost on a good chunk of its audience). I would definitely recommend it for someone who has little to no experience working with or understanding complex networks. People in business in particular could probably get something out of it. However, the most glaring feature of this ...more
Shuaib  Choudhry
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent book which really distils the concepts of networks and the current research happening in this area as well as a great recount of the history underlying the progress made in the field. Doesn't skip out on the science and explains it at a very accessible level and gives a good conceptual understanding of what the researchers are trying to achieve as well as the implications. Erdos and Renyi did incredible work on random networks but it doesn't fit in with the real life network structure ...more
Joe Nahme
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
All Complex systems are 'self-organizing'. The distribution of a human cell as well as the distribution of wealth follow a scale-free power law distribution.

a node with many links will collect more links. you will choose to use Google over Alta Vista or Yahoo
because Google has more users and is more popular. This is 'preferential attachment' or the 'herding effect'. It's an evolutionary shortcut to save you the cognitive energy (historically expensive) of vetting. We are also risk averse and do
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
The author is a knowledge physicist who used a lot of examples from scientific, human relationship, biology, finance...etc aspects to explain the development of network. I thought i would not understand this book if i didn't read "Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today's Computers", I got to know how google design its search engine, with what tricks some spams used (multiple links with tags from famous links, with famous words, sentences inserted in their p ...more
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Linked.... 1 24 Apr 24, 2007 07:41AM  

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Albert-László Barabási is a physicist, best known for his work in the research of network science. A Hungarian born native of Transylvania, he received his Masters in Theoretical Physics at the Eotvos University in Budapest, Hungary and was awarded a Ph.D. three years later at Boston University. Barabási is the author of six books, including the forthcoming book "The Formula: The Science of Succes ...more

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