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Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet
William Davidow


9781883285463
Retail Price: $27.95
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Format: Hardcover, 240pp.
ISBN: 9781883285463
Publisher: Delphinium
Pub. Date: January 4, 2011

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

In Overconnected, Bill Davidow, a former Silicon Valley executive, explains how the almost miraculous success of the Internet has also created a unique set of hazards, in effect overconnecting us, with the direst of consequences.

The practical applications of this new medium—not least among them the ability to borrow money, invest in the stock market, or buy a new home—have made it a force unequaled in scope or impact in our daily lives. But the luxuries of the connected age have taken on a momentum all of their own, ultimately becoming the root cause of the recent financial meltdown from which the world is now still struggling to recover.

By meticulously and counter-intuitively anatomizing how being overconnected tends to create systems of positive feedback that have largely negative consequences, Davidow explains everything from the recent subprime mortgage crisis to the meltdown of Iceland, from the loss of people’s privacy to the spectacular fall of the stock market that forced the Federal Government to rescue institutions supposedly “too big to fail.” All because we were so miraculously wired together.

Explaining how such symptoms of Internet connection as unforeseeable accidents and how thought contagions acted to accelerate the downfall and make us permanently vulnerable to catastrophe, Davidow places our recent experience in historical perspective and offers a set of practical steps to minimize similar disasters in the future.

Original, commonsensical and historically informed, Overconnected identifies problems we live with that are now so large, omnipresent and part of our daily lives that few people have even noticed them.



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“Overconnected has the wonderful effect of explaining seemingly unrelated problems in a way that instantly makes sense once it is pointed out, and that also suggests feasible corrections. One of the pioneers of the modern technology shows how the unanticipated effects of the Internet are distorting economics, politics, international relations, and individual lives. This book is clear, original, and worth being widely read.”
—James Fallows, best-selling author and National Correspondent for The Atlantic


 
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About the Author

William Davidow is a successful Silicon Valley venture capitalist, philanthropist, and author, and as a senior vice-president of Intel Corporation, he was responsible for the design of the Intel microprocessor chip. He has written three previous books Marketing High Technology (The Free Press, 1986) and Total Customer Service (Harper, 1989), both with Bro Uttal, and The Virtual Corporation" (Harper, 1992), with Michael Malone as well as columns for Forbes and numerous op-ed pieces. He graduated from Dartmouth College, has a masters degree from the California Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He serves on the boards of Cal Tech, the California Nature Conservancy, and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.



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