By Duncan J Watts
Synopsis: ‘Six degrees of separation’ is a cliche, both of the language and of everyday experience. But it’s also an intriguing idea with a long history and some surprising implications. We all live in tightly bonded social networks, yet linked to vast numbers of people more closely than we sometimes think. Scientists have begun to apply insights from the theoretical study of networks to understand forms as superficially different as social networks and electrical networks, computer networks and economic networks, and to show how common principles underlie them all.
Duncan J Watts explores the science of networks and its implications, ranging from the Dutch tulipmania of the seventeenth century, the success of Harry Potter, the impact of September 11th on Manhattan, to the structure of the world wide web.
ISBN-13: 978-0099444961 | Published May, 2004
Comments: I remember reading this book while travelling overseas many years ago. I was fascinated by the simplicity of the ‘small world theory’ and the power of small connections linked by big hubs. As social media has developed in the forms of facebook and twitter, more and more of these ideas are becoming important in the age of big data where seemingly everything is connected in some way or other. Take the time to read this book – you’ll be rewarded for your effort. @popsciguyoz
[Image credit: http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/science-books/7#i349]