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Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet by William H. Davidow

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Positive Feedback and Horrendous Financial Crashes

Financial booms, busts, swindles, and contagions have been with us for centuries. As interconnectivity has increased, those phenomena have grown in size and are more likely to span the globe, devastating distant economies. Once I began to understand the implications of overconnectivity, one of the first places I examined for evidence to support my ideas was financial markets. The number of connections in these markets had obviously been growing rapidly in recent years. And once I thought about it a little more, I realized that the danger had also been mounting for years.

I joined Intel, a semiconductor manufacturer, in 1973. Two years earlier, Intel had introduced the microprocessor, a ...

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