Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread - The Lessons from a New Science

Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread - The Lessons from a New Science

Paperback

By (author) Alex Pentland

$17.01
List price $23.42
You save $6.41 27% off

Free delivery worldwide
Available
Dispatched in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?

Additional formats available

Format
Hardback $22.37
  • Publisher: Scribe Publications
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 153mm x 234mm x 23mm | 424g
  • Publication date: 10 April 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Carlton North
  • ISBN 10: 1922247553
  • ISBN 13: 9781922247551
  • Sales rank: 32,708

Product description

Where do ideas come from? How do they get put into action? How can we create social structures that are productive and creative? If the Big Data revolution has a presiding genius, it is MIT's Alex Pentland, whose research has led to the creation of more than 30 companies. Yet according to his research, innovation doesn't come from a few super-bright people; it comes from idea flow, the way ideas are spread. Thanks to the rise of smartphones, GPS devices, and the internet, the flow of ideas can now be tracked. Sociologists no longer need to rely on surveys or abstract models. With stunning accuracy, social physics allows us to predict - and improve - how effective a network is, whether it's a search-and-rescue operation, a business, or a city. Pentland is the perfect guide through the wonders and challenges of an entirely new way to look at life itself.

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

Author information

Alex 'Sandy' Pentland directs MIT's Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, co-leads the World Economic Forum Big Data and Personal Data initiatives, and is a founding member of the advisory boards for Nissan, Motorola Mobility, and a variety of start-up firms. He helped create and direct MIT's Media Laboratory, the Media Lab Asia laboratories at the Indian Institutes of Technology, and Strong Hospital's Center for Future Health. His research group and entrepreneurship program have spun off more than 30 companies to date. In 2012 *Forbes* named Pentland one of the seven most powerful data scientists in the world.

Review quote

'Understanding, predicting and influencing human behavior has been the goal of social scientists (and leaders anywhere) since the beginning of time. Pentland's Social Physics is a major contribution to this field. By using communication tracking analysis and occasionally human sensors along with big data, he and his team are evolving a new discipline with a unique taxonomy and ontology that brings a higher level of quantification and rigor to a challenging and inherently complex field. Like Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds it will spawn further work and research in a rapidly expanding new body of knowledge.' John Abele, Co-Founder, Boston Scientific 'Read this book and you will look at tomorrow differently. Reality mining is just the first step on an exciting new journey. Social Physics opens up the imagination to what might now be measurable and modifiable. It also hints at what may lie beyond Adam Smith's invisible hand in helping groups, organizations and societies reach new levels of meaning creation. This is not just social analytics. It also offers pragmatic ways forward.' John Seely Brown, Former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation and director of Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) 'From his MIT aerie, eagle-eyed Alex Pentland has seen the future. His wise and stimulating book teaches us how ideas spring up, flow, and spread. Applying his lessons, we can act collectively to solve previously intractable social, economic and political problems. We can make organizations more productive. We can even have government achieve its proper purposes, with greater fairness and less cost. As challenges like widening inequality and runaway climate change seem to exceed our ability to design solutions, Pentland's data-driven, reality-based, yet sunny optimism about tomorrow should be eagerly welcomed by all readers.' Reed E. Hundt, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital: 'Sandy Pentland lives in the future - and it shows. This book will not only whisk you up to speed on cutting-edge research at the interface of technology, behavioral science, and the social world, but it will also give you a good sense of what could be next. Professor Pentland brilliantly analyses how new ideas flow and how, with the emergence of the 'data-driven society,' they will increasingly influence every aspect of our lives.' Stephen M. Kosslyn, Former Dean of Social Science, Harvard University; Former Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University; Founding Dean, Minerva Schools at KGI: 'Pentland's insights make human behaviour less mysterious, but more amazing. Social Physics will make you see yourself and your world differently.' Clay Shirky, author of Cognitive Surplus and Here Comes Everybody 'Many of us have stood above a colony of ants and been astounded at their ability to act and organise as a social system. Humans are, of course, smarter, independent free-thinking individuals. Read this book and think again. With eyesight sharpened by math, modeling, and the familiarity with a new landscape he has in part created, Sandy Pentland and his team are mapping out a new world, crawling with information, that offers some real understanding of who we are and who we could be. Welcome to the age of social physics.' Peter Gabriel, musician