Instructional Designer and Multimedia Biographer
This book is both instructive and entertaining. I have continuously recommended it to curious, intelligent, people, who want to know how the laws of networks permeate our lives and physical world. I am listening to it for the third time. RAW
I was very disappointed in this lightweight listen. The author is extremely proud of some elementary results that seem obvious to anyone with a serious math or comp. sci. background. He has so little to say that he repeats it many times. Links on the internet are not random! Are you amazed?
To make a book out of what should have been a short article, he then predicts marvellous advances in medicine based on his "discoveries," completely disregarding the problems of production and economic issues. If nanotechnology succeeds, will networkologists take credit?
A final nit: He uses the spread of AIDS as an example of a network, with patients as nodes and sexual contacts as links. However, many of his "facts" are wrong--he propagates myths that support his points but do not stand up under scrutiny. AIDS is not a "pandemic". People aren't virtually certain to die with 10 years of infection with HIV. Heterosexual contact does not spread AIDS. Kaposi's sarcoma is not caused by HIV and is not contagious.
This book did not teach me anything. Just a glimpse into how self-important academics can become.
I found the book extremely helpful in my understanding of community networks. There was enough science to connect the book to the "science approach." Nevertheless, it brought the ideas of networks outside of the normal scientific arena. As an educator I was able to use the concepts of networks in my own world of community building. I also love computers and the internet, thus finding these comparisons very helpful. Well done and worth my time.
I found this this book disappointing and repetitive.
It seemed a classic example of three interesting points spun out into a book-length treatment. The authors seemed unsure whether they were writing an instructional book for business networking, an academic treatise on networking theory, or their own curricula vitae. The result is maddeningly dry and circular.
The exhaustive explanation, discussion and criticism of obviously flawed and outdated networking theories is nothing but filler and occupies the bulk of book. Their unsupported extrapolations to politics and society are spurious and frequently laughable. Anyone interested in the subject should buy the paper version instead and skim aggressively.
F for the narrator. He obviously doesn't have a science background, which would be ok if only he would take the trouble to pronounce words correctly. With an audiobook, the pronunciation is key - the reader has no other means to know what the he*l is written down.
If you always wonder how 'small' our world is and how people are all interconnected to each other in this 'web', you will enjoy this book. Full of great real life examples and network theories. Be aware that lots of scientific wording, theories and examples are used in this book.. And if you don't like this type of technicalities, you may get bored and the book probably won't hold your attention.
I have a general science background and I loved this book because it relates our day-to-day network experiences to scientific theories. In special, I think people from the IT industry (or if you're keen on computers and internet) will find this book very interesting as the author uses lots of examples related to this industry.
I read this based on a colleague's recommendation, thinking I would spend most of my time thinking about networks in the sense of the "Internet." True, the internet is a prominent feature of the book, but the books real genius in its ability to see connectedness in economies, biology, social circles, and more.
Though written for a lay audience, parts of the book may get a little technical for some people's taste. But it is certainly not out of reach for those with at least some techno-tolerance.
This is a great book if you have a mind for math/logic. As a programmer I found great interest in the talk of highly connected networks as a new model of looking at the world. Wonderful listen, and definitely worth a second, third, or fourth time if are into the subject.
If you are interested in Artificial Intelligence, E-Business, or politics this book will tickle your neurons and tighten your synapses. Take the book in whole rather than approach each chapter as a separate lesson. Those unfamiliar with mathematics theory should understand that the early chapters deal with theories that the later chapters prove inapplicable to scale-free networks and the World Wide Web. So do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
This is one of those must read books which change the way you look at the world around you.