Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do

Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do

by Albert-László Barabási


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525951605
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 04/29/2010
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.48(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range: 18 - 17 Years

About the Author

Albert-László Barabási is a pioneer of real-world network theory and author of the bestseller, Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life. At 32, he was the youngest professor to be named the Emil T. Hofmann Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame and has won numerous awards for his work, including the FEBS Anniversary Prize for Systems Biology and the John von Neumann Medal for outstanding achievements. He currently lives in Boston and is Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Network Science at Northeastern University.

What People are Saying About This

Ogi Ogas

Bursts is a rich, rewarding read that illuminates a cutting-edge topic: the patterns of human mobility in an era of total surveillance. Once again, Barabásí reveals the mathematical code concealed within the apparent chaos of modern life. Central to Bursts is the notion that human behavior is not random, but precisely follows the shape of a power law, resulting in a rare number of high-mobility outliers with fascinating implications for street traffic, cellular communications, and homeland security.

The narrative structure of Barabási's provocative book mimics the very pattern of bursts, as abrupt and seemingly random jumps through the lives of a post-modern sculptor, a medieval Hungarian revolutionist, and Albert Einstein eventually converge on a single harmonious theme: that our actions are governed by a deeper meaning that can only be deciphered through the brave lens of mathematics. (Ogi Ogas, Ph.D., and Sai Gaddam, Ph.D., Boston University)

Nicholas A. Christakis

Albert-László Barabási, famous for his work on networks, now brings a physicist's penetrating eye to a sweeping range of human activities, from migration to web browsing, from wars to billionaires, from illnesses to letter writing, from the Department of Homeland Security to the Conclave of Cardinals. Barabási shows how, when we closely observe human behavior, a pattern of bursts appears in what has long seemed a random mess. These bursts are both mathematically predictable and beautiful. What a joy it is to read him. You feel like you have emerged from the water with your back to the sun, invigorated, to see a new vista that, while it had always been there, you had just never seen. (Nicholas A. Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard University, coauthor of Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives)

Clay Shirky

In Linked, Barabási showed us how complex networks unfold in space. In Bursts, he shows us how they unfold in time. Your life may look random to you, but everything from your visits to a web page to your visits to the doctor are predictable, and happen in bursts. (Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody)

Nassim Taleb

Barabási is one of the few people in the world who understand the deep structure of empirical reality. (Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan)

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Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Tod_Christianson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a strange book. Ostensibly themed as a scientific inquiry into the bursty nature of patterns surrounding human activity, it actually is mostly a history of Hungary in the time of the Crusades. There are also several other anecdotal stories interwoven into the narrative. The effect of this is quite confusing. Although the writing is very good, the structure is very confusing. Perhaps it was just an overly ambitious attempt to weave disparate themes together, but I found that it did not work that well and I was quite disappointed in the lack of technical detail related to the title.
davesmind on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is such a strange book. I also enjoyed Barabasi's previous book "linked", but this one misses the mark. Most of this book seems to be a collection of meandering stories in Hungarian history and personal anecdotes. Now and then, Barabasi addresses some interesting science (power laws etc) but he fails to successfully connect the science to these odd and rather long winded stories. I certainly can't recommend this book even though I find the proposed topic (burstiness and scale free statistics) a very interesting and important area.
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