Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do

Bursts The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do A revolutionary new theory showing how we can predict human behavior from a radical genius and bestselling author Can we scientifically predict our future Scientists and pseudo scientists have been pu

  • Title: Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do
  • Author: Albert-László Barabási
  • ISBN: 9780525951605
  • Page: 400
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A revolutionary new theory showing how we can predict human behavior from a radical genius and bestselling author Can we scientifically predict our future Scientists and pseudo scientists have been pursuing this mystery for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years But now, astonishing new research is revealing patterns in human behavior previously thought to be purely r A revolutionary new theory showing how we can predict human behavior from a radical genius and bestselling author Can we scientifically predict our future Scientists and pseudo scientists have been pursuing this mystery for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years But now, astonishing new research is revealing patterns in human behavior previously thought to be purely random Precise, orderly, predictable patterns Albert Laszlo Barabasi, already the world s preeminent researcher on the science of networks, describes his work on this profound mystery in Bursts, a stunningly original investigation into human nature His approach relies on the digital reality of our world, from mobile phones to the Internet and email, because it has turned society into a huge research laboratory All those electronic trails of time stamped texts, voicemails, and internet searches add up to a previously unavailable massive data set of statistics that track our movements, our decisions, our lives Analysis of these trails is offering deep insights into the rhythm of how we do everything His finding We work and fight and play in short flourishes of activity followed by next to nothing The pattern isn t random, it s bursty Randomness does not rule our lives in the way scientists have assumed up until now Illustrating this revolutionary science, Barabasi artfully weaves together the story of a 16th century burst of human activity a bloody medieval crusade launched in his homeland, Transylvania with the modern tale of a contemporary artist hunted by the FBI through our post 9 11 surveillance society These narratives illustrate how predicting human behavior has long been the obsession, sometimes the duty, of those in power Barab si s astonishingly wide range of examples from seemingly unrelated areas include how dollar bills move around the U.S the pattern everyone follows in writing email, the spread of epidemics, and even the flight patterns of albatross In all these phenomena a virtually identical, mathematically described bursty pattern emerges.Bursts reveals what this amazing new research is showing us about where individual spontaneity ends and predictability in human behavior begins The way you think about your own potential to do something truly extraordinary will never be the same.

    One thought on “Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do”

    1. Here is my dilemma; I truly did enjoy reading this book. Every page of it. But the author seems to be schizophrenic. In the beginning of the book Barabasi shows that so many seemingly random events behave, not as from a Poisson distribution, but obey a power law distribution, instead. This is very interesting; so many events in our lives and in nature, occur in bursts, rather than at random intervals in time. But then the author starts a historical outline of a revolution attempt that occurred i [...]

    2. People do things in bursts. As opposed to randomly or sequentially and organized. So that's the book. Ok bye.To the author's credit, some ideas don't show value until others start making use of them. This was an idea he was putting out there that he had discovered which comes from deep inside our biology. Our molecules act in bursts. Animals are bursty. Humans, bursty. Our habits, also bursty. The value to this will be left to those that can monetize it, I guess. Best of luck to ya'll.Uhm oh, [...]

    3. Being in the middle of a neurology/psychology book spate when I picked this up, I figured it would be more or less something between the two.Instead, it was a clumsy combination of historical tale tied to the drab thesis which basically stated thatpeople do things in flurries of activity . Very uninformative. Two stars is potentially generous.

    4. I should have given up on this book but I finished it anyway, expecting a payoff late in the text. Unfortunately, my initial impression was correct, and this is a magazine article pretending to be a book.The basic idea - that most human activity occurs in short, concentrated bursts - is interesting enough, but all the author's supporting evidence could have fit into about three pages. The alternating chapters may be interesting to someone really into Eastern European history, but to me they read [...]

    5. Albert-laszlo Barabasi the Author of "Bursts" asks the question: "Can human behavior be predicted by applying the quantum physics principles of the Dispersion Theory of Particles?" If the answer is yes, then the trajectory of disease, ideas, innovation, and human activity could be predicted with a reasonable amount of confidence.The book weaves the story of a medieval hungarian knight, who when appointed to lead a crusade to the Holy land, turns his army of peasants against the Hungarian nobilit [...]

    6. this book has one of the most unusual web promos, I feel compelled to share it. Found herebrsts/ Some interesting points abouttracking bills with Where's George identifying suspected terrorists with statistics ( and how that can go horribly wrong),weekend release of Harry Potters books mirrors huge dips in children emergency room visitsyour friends obesity impacts your risk of obesity. There is a huge running theme in this book about Transylvanian/Hungarian medievel history that I just don't get [...]

    7. Nothing we do is random. Everything is within a routine or expected area of acting. Very interesting read.

    8. Conclusion:The pattern of human beings, animal migrations, e-mails, diseases, and various other assorted subjects is sort of like the following sentences:There is a whole lotta nothing or normal behavior followed by a BURSTOFACTIVITYTHATCANNOTBEACCOUNTEDFOR soon to be followed by:.a whole lotta nothing and average everyday normal behavior.SoontobefollowedbyANOTHERBURSTOFRANDOMOUTLYINGACTIVITY.Along the way we are introduced to such statistical concepts as Levy flights (no that is not an ad campa [...]

    9. I wanted to like this more than I did. Was a fan of Barabasi's last book on networks but I couldn't help but find this one a bit weak. While the concept of "bursts" as a pattern to explain much of human activity over time is interesting it just doesn't seem to resonate like the power laws of the last book did. Also found the constant switching back and forth between the present time and some of the historical stories a bit annoying and staged. There were many interesting bits throughout the book [...]

    10. It's fascinating. And it's at least just another intro into some field of modern research. It's rather aome kind of a non fiction novel that tells what it means to be a scientist and especially a social scientist. Barabasi somehow interwinded predictiveness, math, Hungarian medieval history, privacy and many other topics into a exciting and provoking story.Highly recomended

    11. Barabási, Albert-László (2010). Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do. London: Dutton. 2010. ISBN 9781101428429. Pagine 323. 19,34 $Letto subito dopo la sua uscita, nella primavera-estate del 2010, ma poi non recensito.Barabási è un fisico di origine ungherese, nato in Transilvania nella comunità Székely. Questo ne spiega, anche se non ne giustifica, l’acceso nazionalismo: gli ungheresi ritendono, forse a ragione, di essere stati penalizzati nel trattato di Trianon, al term [...]

    12. The main question of the book, "Can human behavior be predicted by applying the quantum physics principles of the Dispersion Theory of Particles?" The answer shows that innovation and disease can be tracked with a reasonable confidence. This book jumps into stories about a Hungarian knight and a travelling immigratnt in the USA. The stories are easy to follow but the theory is a bit more difficult to comprehend. This book is difficult to recommend unless you have a pre-notion about Einstein's pa [...]

    13. Interesting book, the author is hunting an answer for the human predictability two questions: are human beings predictable, and if yes to what extent. The author ventured (seems like one of his habits) from seemingly unrelated topics and accounts to weave an argument that makes his point, which in this case we are predictably unpredictable, and the sweet spot of behavior that allows that is what so called bursts. The account is basically bursting with stories as you keep folding the pages, from [...]

    14. A peculiar shuffling of two subjects: a layman's presentation of scientific research on patterns of human mobility; and a recounting of historical events for Hungary and Transylvania in the early 16th century.Barabási's ancestors are from Transylvania and thus his historical account is somewhat personal. He also sprinkles the text with medieval words such as voivode -- it means 'warlord' -- but his intention is to use this historical account as an example of a successful prediction. As part of [...]

    15. Interesting mix of history, science, and habitual human behavior. I would’ve liked a better (or more obvious) correlation between bursts and the Hungarian Revolution of 1514, but I found the premise of human patterns—on the individual level—to be intriguing.

    16. I had been craving a book since the plane took off for Munich, my logic was that the trip was going to be so busy, and there were still so many things to investigate in the travel guides, that there would be no time for leisure reading. I was wrong, there were many hours were I could have really used a book, specially the long train ride between Copenhagen and Stockholm, and the flight from Stockholm to NY. Only there, with just a small connecting flight to Toronto left, I ventured to the bookst [...]

    17. Mate, this book was all over the place. One minute you're reading about 16th century crusades, and the next it's about modern day nationwide digital surveillance invading your privacy.This book will certainly be enjoyed by specific persons in specific fields, but I, alas, am not one of them. It was an alright read for me, with little bits of new information here and there, as well as some general gossip, but that's about it. The book more or less covers bursty patterns as a general thing as well [...]

    18. I'm torn in my opinions. The book was well written, the prose flowing, even a "page turner" in places. The content is an odd hybrid of popular-press level discourse on patterns in human behavior juxtaposed with a dramatic narrative of a 16th century Hungarian rebellion. As other reviewers have noted, in spite of the author's attempt to link the two, the book could have done quite well without all of the space devoted to the rebellion.Regarding the scientific meat of the book - the author left me [...]

    19. I liked this book a lot, but not for the reasons I was expecting. I thought I wanted to read it so I could learn something. (Who doesn't want to be smarter?) But in the end, I kept with it because it was so gosh-darn entertaining. There are several things going for this book. One is that the author is very good at writing. He has an engaging style that makes reading his book FUN. It was great when out of the blue he would illustrate what he was trying to explain with a funny yet clearly relevant [...]

    20. This book would've been far more interesting had it been about a third the size. Every other chapter was the author telling the tale of some cardinal in the Crusades and a battle and well, I can't accurately describe it, because by about the third time this happened, I stopped reading them. I was intending to skim them, but I couldn't bring myself to even do that. Even if it did have something to do with Transylvania!Now, he does refer to this incident from time to time, but it wasn't important [...]

    21. I picked this up on a whim and found it to be a fast read and compellingly written. The author covers various topics from (mostly present day) scientific inquiry relating to human and animal behavior that pertain to his interest in "bursty" behavior patterns. Alternately mixed in is a recounting of a story of a history-making Knight and a military campaign from 16th Century Hungary and Transylvania.I'm interested in history, so this eastern European story was fascinating to me. I'm still not so [...]

    22. This one was a disappointment for me. I found the basic idea interesting--that the daily pattern of human activity is bursty--short flourishes of activity followed by randomness because I have noticed that pattern myself but I did not learn any more about that pattern from reading this book. Barabasi uses long drawn out examples to prove his point--I lost interest in the examples and skipped to the straight science. It was almost like he was trying to be Malcolm Gladwell, pulling together dispar [...]

    23. The author has another book out called Linked, which i have and plan on reading and I also hear is a much better book. In fact, one of the reasons I picked this book up was because Linked looks really good and this book has the subtitle: The Hidden Power Behind Everything We Do. Given that subtitle, how could one not have any interest at all in reading it?Having read iti wish i hadn't picked it up. He intertwines history with science and doesn't accomplish either one particularly well. Especiall [...]

    24. I'm not really sure what to make of Bursts. I loved Barabasi's last book, and was excited for this one. But whereas Linked was a fascinating and focused scientific investigation, Bursts is a confused jumble of disconnected material.For some unfathomable reason, Barabasi spends almost half of the book talking about a Romanian historical figure named Gyorgy, who led a peasant rebellion. The forced ways in which Barabasi tries to tie this material to his thesis are laughable. Another quarter of the [...]

    25. Kind of a nerdy book, but a good one. The main idea is that things don't just happen all the time in sequence or even exponentially, sometimes surprises take place and this has an underlying mathematical model also. These 'bursts' occur in other places and times, not only in math. Many things in the modern world follow this pattern and other things that seem that way don't. The author does get a bit obscure in using a historical model for his idea: An uprising in Hungary in the 1500's. He altern [...]

    26. the author uses the thinnest of pretexts to tie together two unrelated strains of thought. The end result is like watching your dad flip between a show on the history channel and the discovery channel- mostly infuriating and confusing, while at moments fascinating. You always feel as if profound insight is around the corner, only to be repeatedly let down by the literary equivalent of a commercial break. My impression was the author was in the middle of his research on bursts and rushed to get t [...]

    27. While it takes long to get tot the point it does offer somewhat different points of view concerning power laws and preferential attachment networks. I think that social scientist may get some new slants on this subjects and also some readers may be interested in the haphazard way scientific discoveries are made. I am intrigued at the application of entropy to human behavior and its use in estimating our predictability. The use of simulation to compare poisson processes, random walks, brownian mo [...]

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