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 buy a new house to the convenience of borrowing and investing money profitably. But the luxuries of the connected age have taken on a momentum all of their own. By 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 - all because we were so miraculously wired together.
Explaining how such symptoms of Internet connection as unforeseeable accidents and 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.