REVIEWS+

Overconnected

The Promise and Threat of the Internet
Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet. Delphinium. Jan. 2011. c.267p. bibliog. ISBN 9781883285463. pap. $27.95. BUS
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The amazing Internet we use for everything from searching for baby names to applying for jobs to health information to buying a house is all tied together. For the same reason it works so well, it can be our downfall. The author, a venture capitalist and former Intel executive, provides a history of the web from its humble Arpanet beginnings through the current fiscal collapse. He delves into Iceland's bank failures, the subprime mortgage disaster, and other contemporary pitfalls like spam, scammers, and identity theft, and how interconnectedness has played a role in it all. Much of this is based on the engineering concept of positive feedback, with the continued reinforcing of actions gaining speed over time. The atuhors' ideas for resolving these problems include restructuring, increasing regulation, and taxation of large companies.
VERDICT An interesting look at a problem we live with but may never have really considered, this will primarily appeal to computer and financial types.

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