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This was, in retrospect, critical for me to listen to. It provides a framework for understanding complex natural systems.
Network theory has seen a boom recently and this book by one of the founders of modern day 'scale free network topology' theory lays it out in plain english (except for the name, I guess). Beginning with Euler's theorems he follows through his own research and that of others to construct a picture of how network architecture arises, what factors affect it, and it's strengths and vulnerabilities. The theory is supported with examples of real networks (businesses, hollywood stars, the brain, the internet, and the spread on AIDS).
The theories also make sense, there's a real feeling of 'ah-haa' in every chapter as layers of complexity are added on. This seminal work describes the basis of a theroy that will be the starting point for a deeper understanding of the world around us.
35 of 35 people found this review helpful
This is a thorough discussion of network theory. The first part of the book goes into great, and sometimes tedious, detail. If you have the patience to wait for the cake to bake, however, the frosting is quite tasty. The second half of the book is about applications and real-world examples of every sort of network you might imagine and several you probably won't.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
This is a fantastic book and one I have come back to and re-listened several times. The ideas presented here are just so fascinating. I never dreamed I would like this book so much. It's over six months ago since I first heard it but I still think about, and talk about, it a lot. This is not a lot of high foluting scientific stuff you can't understand, quite the opposite - it's clear, it's endlesly fascinating and relevant to everyday life - well my life anyway! After you've heard it you will be dying to play the Kevin Bacon game!
The narrator is great too. A pleasure to listen to.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Fascinatingly insightful and wide reaching, which is typical of explorations into complexity. It wanders off down wonderful avenues, a few dead ends, but mostly looking back around synonymous with the characteristics of the networks being unfolded in the narrative. A few of the concepts have moved on considerably in the intervening years - after all it is the century of complexity - but the historical contexts and the building of the complementary concepts stands the test of time. Seven bridges no unique route! I think this is where Gladwell knicked most of his ideas, albeit that here they are steeped in the intricate windings of scientific provenance, rather than opinion.
Bit boring here and there, but hey, it's worth sticking with a classic!