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Bill Davidow, Author of OVERConnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet

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Bill Davidow ( www.davidow.com) has been a high-technology industry executive and a venture investor for more than 30 years. He continues as an active advisor to Mohr Davidow Ventures. In OVERconnected, Bill Davidow explains how the almost miraculous success of the Internet has also engendered a unique set of hazards and challenges for government, social institutions, business, and economies. The benefits of our highly-connected state have been myriad and dramatic, propelling economic growth and making the world more efficient.  But high levels of connectivity can also create a degree of momentum that is devastating. In Overconnected, Davidow meticulously — and counter-intuitively — anatomizes how overconnectivity can create systems with excessive amounts of positive feedback, making those systems extremely volatile, accident prone, and subject to contagion. Davidow explains how the Internet – and the overconnectivity it gave rise to — played a starring role in the collapse of the Icelandic economy, our loss of privacy, and the spectacular real estate and financial market crash of 2008. This is a very interesting book. His arguments are compelling, clear and he shares new insights, data and anecdotes from these and other events. However, I’m not sure I agree with his conclusions. There have been spectacular financial collapses long before the internet. They lacked the hyper-connectivity of today’s world. What they shared in common, though, was a willingness of those with vested interests to suspend disbelief in logic and data and a willingness to embrace flights of irrational fancy. Using whatever means of communication were available they created their own self-serving echo-chamber of greed and rationale. An unsustainable echo-chamber. I'll ask the author to help me across my gap of understanding.

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