Breakpoint: Why the Web Will Implode, Search Will Be Obsolete, and Everything Else You Need to Know About Technology Is in Your Brain [NOOK Book]

Overview


What can the human brain and its relationship to the internet tell us about our society, our technologies, and our businesses?  A lot, as it turns out. The internet today is a virtual replica of the brain, and the networks that leverage it grow and collapse in ways that are easily predictable if you understand the brain and other biological networks.

We’re living in the midst of a networking revolution. All of the major technology innovations of the 21st century – social ...

See more details below
Breakpoint: Why the Web Will Implode, Search Will Be Obsolete, and Everything Else You Need to Know About Technology Is in Your Brain

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99
BN.com price

Overview


What can the human brain and its relationship to the internet tell us about our society, our technologies, and our businesses?  A lot, as it turns out. The internet today is a virtual replica of the brain, and the networks that leverage it grow and collapse in ways that are easily predictable if you understand the brain and other biological networks.

We’re living in the midst of a networking revolution. All of the major technology innovations of the 21st century – social networking, cloud computing, search engines, and crowdsourcing, to name a few – leverage the internet and are thus bound by the rules of networks. We’ve seen the exponential growth of these technologies, and they’ve led to a more efficient and tightly connected world. But what many people don’t realize is that all networks eventually reach a breakpoint and collapse. This happens in the brain, it happens in nature, it happened to MySpace, and it will happen to Facebook and Google. It is critical to understand where the breakpoint is in the networks you use in order to achieve optimum success. 

Navigating the world of new technologies today can be like walking through a minefield unless you know the path. Imagine what you could do with a roadmap for where things are headed?

In this fascinating look at the future of business and technology, neuroscientist and entrepreneur Jeff Stibel shows how the brain can act as a guide to understanding the future of the internet and the constellation of businesses and technologies that run on it. He’ll show how leaders like Marissa Mayer are using artificial intelligence to literally remake Yahoo! and how startups like oDesk and Kickstarter are using crowdsourcing, the next wave of revolutionary technology, to create something much larger and “smarter” than the sum of their parts.    

Stibel offers a fresh perspective about the future of business and technology in a candid and engaging manner.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 "A great read – lots of fun, very engaging, full of new facts and smart insights." —Daniel Gilbert, bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness; Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

Breakpoint is an engaging comparison of the rise and fall of nature's networks and the lessons we all need to be learning from them as we become increasingly dependent on the internet.” —Jon Stewart, host of BBC’s Science in Action, and columnist at BBC Future

“Brain scientist Jeff Stibel uses a wide ranging set of fascinating examples to answer why the web will implode and search will be obsolete drawing on parallels of the architecture of our brains. As an entrepreneur providing Brain Machine Interfaces, he draws on the massive architectural structure of cutter ants, how the Easter Island thriving community collapsed through overconsumption, and why Marissa Mayer joined startup Google and most recently became CEO at declining Yahoo.” —Gordon Bell, Researcher Emeritus, Microsoft

“Stibel's keen insight into biological networks, including our brain's neural networks, provides the perfect analog for the emerging technological networks. Breakpoints have long been the difference between success and extinction in biology, and Stibel has proved that the same is true in the digital world. Breakpoint is an engaging book and a must read.”  —Ashish Soni, Founding Director of the Innovation Institute, University of Southern California

“Jeff Stibel has written an easy-to-read and in-depth analysis of how the internet compares to the human brain in calculation, communication, prediction capabilities and pattern recognition.  What makes his book so fascinating is the simple clarity he brings to an extraordinarily complex and fast-changing subject.  Breakpoint is original, exciting, and brilliantly informative.”  —Bill Draper, founder of Sutter Hill Venture and author of The Startup Game

 

"A fascinating book with important ideas" —Booklist

Kirkus Reviews
Brain scientist and entrepreneur Stibel (Wired for Thought: How the Brain Is Shaping the Future of the Internet, 2009) offers a provocative view of the future of the Internet. Drawing on an understanding of the behavior of natural networks ranging from ant colonies to the human brain, the author notes that all successful networks develop in the same way. After a period of enormous growth, they reach a breakpoint, or pivotal moment, when they have overgrown and begin to decline. They then enter a state of equilibrium, in which the network grows not in quantity but in quality: Ant colonies exhibit greater intelligence; the brain grows wiser. Arguing that the Internet mirrors the brain (in effect, it is a kind of brain), Stibel writes that the Internet is approaching, but has not yet reached, a breakpoint; instead, its carrying capacity has been extended with broadband technology. To continue expanding at its current meteoric pace, it will have to evolve to use different energy sources, such as a chemical system, to increase the amount of information it can handle. In time, the Internet will hit the breakpoint, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. "Just as the brain gains intelligence as it overshoots and collapses," writes Stibel, "so too may the Internet." The author conjures a future online world that is smarter, denser and more relevant, relying on links with depth and dimensionality--the same kind found in a brain at equilibrium. Stibel applies his approach to a consideration of many issues, arguing that forced growth caused MySpace to collapse and may yet do the same with Facebook; that specialized apps will eliminate the need for search engines; and that eventually, there will be a unity of mind and machine, with two networks coming together as one. Lucid and authoritative.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137360977
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/23/2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 569,260
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Jeff Stibel is a neuroscientist and entrepreneur. He is currently serving as Chairman and CEO of The Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corporation and was previously President and CEO of Web.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: WWWW). Stibel is also Chairman of BrainGate, a company whose “brain chip” technology allows the severely disabled to control electronics with nothing but their thoughts and was featured on 60 Minutes.

Stibel is the author of Wired for Thought: How the Brain is Shaping the Future of the Internet (Harvard Business Press, 2009). He was the recipient of a Brain and Behavior Fellowship while studying for his PhD in brain science at Brown University. He resides in Malibu, California with his wife and two children.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    I really enjoyed reading this book.  His look at network breakpo

    I really enjoyed reading this book.  His look at network breakpoints in biology is fascinating, especially when it is then related into technology and social networks.  I hope that the folks at Facebook, Yahoo!, Twitter and more take note!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    I don't usually read non-fiction books, but I genuinely enjoyed

    I don't usually read non-fiction books, but I genuinely enjoyed this book.  Not only is it relevant to the technology and information driven world we live in today, but it is full of fun and interesting facts.  Instead of filling the pages with scientific jargon and arrogant language, Stibel makes the complex material simple and comprehensible for any reader.  His writing is clear, concise, and most importantly, it flows incredibly well from one topic to the next, making it hard to stop reading.  The book is, without a doubt, for anyone and everyone regardless of your interests and/or career!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    I don't usually read technology books but a friend gave me this

    I don't usually read technology books but a friend gave me this one. I was pleasantly surprised! So many interesting stories across a variety of topics. I think that anyone who likes a broad range of popular science will like reading this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    Fantastic book. Engaging with a deep dive into science and techn

    Fantastic book. Engaging with a deep dive into science and technology--a rare find and I couldn't put my nook down until it was finished. It is by far the best book I have read all year.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful, insightful, engaging. I highly recommend this book to

    Wonderful, insightful, engaging. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about themselves (their brain that is) and how the world is changing. The book reads like a non-fiction thriller in many ways and the writing style is something between a Malcolm Gladwell (Blink), a John Green (The Fault in our Stars) and a Dan Brown (Inferno).


    I bought this thinking it was mainly about what is happening on the internet and had hoped that I could learn about what it was doing to our brains. Breakpoint offers some really interesting points on the subject, similar to “How the internet is changing our Brain” by Nicholas Carr. But Breakpoint is so much more.


    The thing that really excited me was the deep comparison between animals and technology. I never really thought about it before but biology is really the same as technology. Stibel shows how ants are actually just “anternets,” deer migrate in the same way that we build highway systems, termites created air conditioning in Africa (without electricity of course) and many more examples.


    The author is a brain scientist so there is a ton of interesting facts about the brain. Our brains are not the biggest in the animal kingdom, they use far more energy than the value we get from them, the human brain has been shrinking for the past 20,000 years (this stunned me so much so that I looked up the source and it is true!). The primary argument in the book is that bigger isn’t better and Stibel finds examples of this throughout nature. He argues that all networks go through a BREAKPOINT, where it shrinks in size but increases in depth. This is what makes ants anternets, termites intelligent, and the brain so powerful. It is also what will make technology more powerful if only businesses will allow their networks to shrink instead of forcing them to grow too large.


    Stibel is also a recognized business leader and he spends considerable time warning other business people about Breakpoints. It seems that almost every company eventually goes out of business and most of the time it is because they allowed their customer networks or technology networks to grow too big. He predicted that Myspace would collapse and is now showing why Facebook may do so as well. The book shows how companies like Google and Yahoo will need to evolve to bring a better tool than search in the future. And I finally have a good understanding of what the Web and Internet are (they are two different things) and we each of them will hit a breakpoint (The Web already has according to Stibel). I liked his writing style and the business points were broadly applicable enough for me to purchase his previous book (Wired for Thought) which I am going to start later this month.


    Overall, I would recommend this book to just about any adult reader. It was fun, interesting, held me captive, and I learned a lot.


    Hillary Eggert

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

     This book truly impressed me. It covered a lot of ground but di

     This book truly impressed me. It covered a lot of ground but did so in an elegant way. I was engaged from the beginning and my biggest gripe was that I wanted more by the end. It is not often that I think that and it compelled me to write my first ever review. 




    There are some sophisticated concepts between the pages for the science and technology-minded (and even for the science and technology phobic) but a general interest reader will have no problem with the subject matter and will enjoy the stories (why people resort to cannibalism) and unbelievable facts (12 homes consume more of the internet today than all homes did combined in 2008…the human brain has been shrinking in size for the past 20,000 years!). I am typically skeptical about books that make big claims on the cover but Breakpoint is one of the rare books that have surprised me by delivering. This is a deep science book that goes to great lengths to explain how networks evolve in nature. Using clever examples from the animal kingdom, Stibel takes a deep dive into some of the more interesting behaviors in nature. He explains how ant colonies develop intelligence, how populations of deer can flourish or parish, how termites invented air-conditioning, how sea squirts eat their brains. Most fascinating though is Stibel’s discussion about the human brain and how it is really a biological muscle similar to the technology that humans have created. 




    In all of these cases, Stibel makes a convincing argument that all of these social animals go through a period of rapid growth, then hit a breakpoint where they must shrink, and only after that point can the animal truly evolve greater powers (intelligence, strength, or whatever). This point alone is truly remarkable and as a biologist, it is something I completely overlooked. What fascinated me more though was the book’s comparison of biology to technology. It is one thing to compare the brain to technology (it actually makes it easier to understand our biology when we have a strong analogy) but it is quite another thing to compare the development of technology to the evolution of biology. When I started the book, as I said, I was skeptical, but by the time I finished, I became a convert to this line of thinking. It really is the case that technology can evolve and that we can learn how to do so by looking to biology. 




    Steve Smoley

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    Truly fascinating read. Stibel is a brain scientist but he is no

    Truly fascinating read. Stibel is a brain scientist but he is not your typical scientist, his writing style is engaging and easy to read. Breakpoint gives us insight to the workings of biological networks, such as ant colonies and our brains and the similarities to the internet network. Ultmatly lending us great insights to how large companies will need to evolve in the future as search will change, networks will grow and some implode, consumers will search differnetly for information etc. Very thought provoking for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 30, 2013

    *A full executive summary of this book will be available at newb

    *A full executive summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Tuesday, August 6.

    This is not a book about the end of the internet, as the controversial title may seem to suggest. Rather, it's a book about networks (meaning a group of interconnected people or things) and how networks evolve; and its main focus is on internet-related networks and the internet itself (which is one enormous network). The author, Jeff Stibel, argues that there are certain natural laws that govern the unfolding of networks, and that understanding these laws can help us understand how the internet (and other internet-related networks) are likely to evolve over time, and also how we should approach these networks in order to get the most out of them (including make money off of them).

    When it comes to the evolution of a network, Stibel argues that there are three main stages here: 1) Growth; 2) Breakpoint and 3) Equilibrium. In the growth phase, the network grows in size, usually at a very quick (often exponential) pace. This is a precarious time for networks, for if they do not grow fast enough and large enough they will simply wither away and die (the vast majority of networks do in fact die at this stage).

    When it comes to the internet--the network that is the focus of the book--we learn that this network is still in its growth phase, and thus it still has much evolving to do before it reaches maturity. Specifically, the internet must still grow beyond its carrying capacity, reach its breakpoint, and collapse back to equilibrium. What this means is that the internet stands to go through some very significant changes in the coming years.

    Drawing on evidence from other networks, Stibel seeks to chart out what is likely to happen to the internet (and other internet-related networks) as it passes through its various phases on its way to equilibrium. Stibel predicts that the journey will feature some real growing pains, but that ultimately the internet will emerge better and smarter than ever (and may even develop consciousness).

    The point of view that the author brings is very unique and interesting. His argument is also very persuasive. The one area where I felt the book fell short is in exploring the implications of what an intelligent and even conscious internet would look like. Will the internet just function in a way that it appears to exhibit intelligence and consciousness (as an ant colony does), or will it actually be intelligent and conscious (as a brain is)? Perhaps the author himself does not know, but if this is the case, he should at least say so. Instead, the author is very ambiguous here, and plays with the idea that the internet will actually be conscious, without fully committing to this or drawing out the implications thereof. Still, a highly entertaining and interesting read. A full executive summary of the book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Tuesday, August 6.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)