What The Internet Makes Possible

Apr 15 2011 @ 8:01pm

Jamie Holmes reviews Duncan Watts' Everything Is Obvious:

Watts is at his best when exploring the Internet as a tool of sociology. Previously, it has been nearly impossible to study things like how people influence each other, because it’s extraordinarily difficult to track such interactions using randomized trial experiments. For the first time, the Internet now allows us to do exactly that, fairly cheaply and at massive scale. Watts hopes, in what in many ways should have been the true thesis of the book, that “by rendering the unmeasurable measurable, the technological revolution in mobile, Web, and Internet communications has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of ourselves and how we interact.”