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Wired for Thought: How the Brain Is Shaping the Future of the Internet

Book Description

In this age of hypercompetition, the Internet constitutes a powerful tool for inventing radical new business models that will leave your rivals scrambling. But as brain scientist and entrepreneur Jeffrey Stibel explains in Wired for Thought, you have to understand its true nature. The Internet is more than just a series of interconnected computer networks: it's the first real replication of the human brain outside the human body.

To leverage its power, you first need to understand how the Internet has evolved to take on similarities to the brain. This engaging and provocative book provides the answer. Stibel lays out:
- How networks have changed and what that implies for how people connect and form communities
- What the Internet-and online business opportunities-will look like in the future
- What the next stage of artificial intelligence will be and what opportunities it will present for businesses

Stibel shows how exceptional companies are using their understanding of the Internet's brainlike powers to create competitive advantage-such as building more effective Web sites, predicting consumer behavior, leveraging social media, and creating a collective consciousness.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Table of Contents
  5. PREFACE - BrainGate
  6. INTRODUCTION - The Internet Is a Brain
  7. PART I - Building the Brain
    1. CHAPTER 1 - The Thinking Machine
      1. Eric Clapton’s Loop-de-Loop Machine
      2. A Brain in a Bottle
      3. Artificial Brains
      4. Artificial Brains, Real Intelligence
    2. CHAPTER 2 - Darwin’s Cloud
      1. Computing in the Clouds
      2. Selfish Software
      3. Cracking the Digital Code
      4. Back to The Dalles
      5. Computing in the Clouds
      6. The Internet as a Computing Cloud
  8. PART II - Internet Intelligence
    1. CHAPTER 3 - A Wise Guess
      1. Mental Levitation
      2. Future Shock
      3. Logical Flaws
      4. Gambling with Uncertainty
      5. Back to the Future
    2. CHAPTER 4 - Too Much of a Good Thing
      1. The Flaw of Information
      2. Monty Hall and Door Number 3
      3. Making the Internet a Prediction Machine
    3. CHAPTER 5 - Creative Destruction
      1. The Business of Creative Destruction
      2. Creative Destruction on Madison Avenue
      3. The Internet Creatively Destructs
  9. PART III - The Brain Behind the Web
    1. CHAPTER 6 - A Web of Neurons
      1. A Symphony of Lights
      2. Of Minds and Memes
      3. Beneath the Surface of the Pond
      4. The Eyes Have It
      5. A Spider’s Web
      6. Off the Evolutionary Cliff
    2. CHAPTER 7 - Searching for the Right Words
      1. Calling Henry Higgins
      2. Zipf’s Law and the Long Tail
      3. Natural Selection
      4. The Attack of the Creepy Crawlies
      5. The Prom Queen
    3. CHAPTER 8 - The Limits of Networks
      1. Metcalfe’s Law and the Laws of Gravity
      2. Metcalfe’s Revenge
      3. The Law of Equilibrium
      4. The Laws of Networking
    4. CHAPTER 9 - The Social Networks
      1. Long Live MySpace
      2. Will MySpace Implode?
      3. Facebook’s Network of Networks
      4. Will the Internet Implode?
      5. The Internet Is Dead; Long Live the Internet
  10. PART IV - I, Internet
    1. CHAPTER 10 - The New Rules of the Brain, Business, and Beyond
      1. Big Brother
      2. The Power of Thought
    2. CHAPTER 11 - A Ghost on the Web
      1. Swipey-Wipies and Swirly-Whirlies
      2. Ghost in the Machine
      3. Charting the Course
      4. The Gravity of the System
      5. Collective Consciousness
      6. I Think, Therefore I Am the Internet
  11. EPILOGUE - The Brain of the New Machine
  12. NOTES
  13. BIBLIOGRAPHY
  14. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  15. INDEX
  16. ABOUT THE AUTHOR