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Critical Mass by Philip Ball
I must admit that I'm a little surprised to have not heard more about this book, Philip Ball's Critical Mass. At Amazon, it's paired with Wisdom of Crowds, which I've seen all over the place (and finally bought, I might add). Anyhow, CM is not your typical network book. Ball is a science writer who's done a number of different things, and many of them come together to confront the subtitle of his book, "How One Thing Leads to Another." In other words, like The Tipping Point, Emergence, and others, this is a book about change.

It's not quite as accessible as Johnson or Gladwell, perhaps, but that's because Ball locates network studies in the context of about 400 years worth of science, social science, physics, thermodynamics, economics, statistics, and so on. I'm only about halfway through, so I'll reserve my reviewy comments for when I finally finish it. It's probably not going to be specific enough for me to use it in my course next semester, but if there were a way for me to guarantee that everyone had already read it, I would. It's thick, and as it's only in hardcover, it's a little pricey, but it's also one of those books that really lays out cross-disciplinary connections in a way that's compelling for me.

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on October 5, 2004 2:44 PM.

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