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Books > Business & Money > Management & Leadership > Decision-Making & Problem Solving > B004DEPHGQ
  1. Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer
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  2. Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer

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    Customer Ratings (105 reviews)
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Duncan J. Watts
Kindle Edition
Kindle eBook
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This is a personal review - if you haven't come across similar material I think it's a very recommendable read.

I'm a big fan of Duncan Watts' work on Small Worlds, but I did not get as much as I would have liked from his latest pop-sci offering. Some of the material I found new, such as Grannovetter's intriguing threshold hypothesis as to why some mobs gel into mass action and others do not, and he had a very good discussion on the use of online networked communities as social science laboratories, with some interesting results generated from twitter, Facebook and email. And, as is necessary for this kind of a book, there are a number of illustrative anecdotes, such as why BetaMax and Discman failed in the market, but iPod succeeded or Amazon's "Mechanical Turk" - which I just tried out after reading the book, or Zara's... Read more
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?) "Everything is Obvious" by Dr. Duncan J. Watts suggests that we are on the brink of a new age of social scientific discovery with profound implications for business, politics and culture. Dr. Watts brings an interesting and rare critical discipline to the soft science of sociology due to his PhD's in the hard sciences of theoretical and applied mechanics. Dr. Watts shares insights gained from his academic and professional experiences including his role as a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research. Accessibly written for general interest readers, Dr. Watts' enlightening book gives us many good reasons to get excited about sociology.

Although Dr. Watts rarely acknolwedges it, his book represents an implicit refutation of Malcolm Gladwell's pseudo-scientific The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Dr... Read more
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?) Though I am not necessarily a René Descartes fan, reading `In Everything is Obvious' one surely comes away realizing that we really do not know much. That is only after something has become fact do we really know it. Of course this sounds very logical and even `Common Sense', but the author reminds us throughout the book that common sense has a remarkable knack for peppering over complexity. Complexity with respect to emergent conditions, or results, because the behavior of the whole can not be easily related to the behavior of the parts.

In the chapter `History Is Not Such a Good Teacher After All`, the author reminds us that history is actually just a one-off event. There could be many different historical facts but we only know of the one. This is pointed out in the discussion of creeping determinism where we pay less attention than we should to things that did not happen. For example, since we are mostly concerned with success, it seems pointless, or... Read more
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