“Bursts”

For some reason, I thought that Barabasi’s latest book “Bursts” was going to be about networks. Turns out it’s not.

I very much enjoyed the author’s prose, easy and clear, but at any given point I couldn’t tell where is this all going. The chapters cover several parallel stories in random order. Some of them are interesting (the whereisgeorge.com project, Einsten’s correspondence patterns, the potential of a Big Brother future expecting us, etc.), but then the rest was completely obscure and unrelated. Every other chapter is dedicated to a very detailed description of the medieval history of the author’s native region in Hungary. From page 1 I was eager to find out when (and how??) it will eventually converge with the other stories, but, the thing is, it never does. So, filled with disappointment and maybe a little bit of decreased self-esteem (maybe I just didn’t catch it? did I miss the punchline?), I must say that the book was a very good writing exercise for the author but unfortunately it didn’t leave me grateful for the time spent reading it.

So, no, no recommendation for “Bursts”.

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