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The Social Atom: Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheaters Get Caught, and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You

The Social Atom:Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheaters Get Caught, and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You

Mark Buchanan

Summarized March 2008


SKU: 3082

ISBN: 1596910135

Price: $12.50

Available Formats: pdf mp3 ipad audiobook

Summary Description

Why does one company succeed and another firm fail? What causes the stock market to rise and fall? Why do neighborhoods gentrify all of a sudden? Why are some bars crowded one week and empty the next?

You can find the answers to these and many other questions by looking at patterns the way that physicists look at atoms. For years, the idiosyncrasies of human behavior have confounded economists and social theorists.

Now, as our summary of The Social Atom by Mark Buchanan explains, we’re witnessing a “quantum revolution” in the social sciences. Buchanan is a theoretical physicist and an associate editor at Complexus, a journal on biocomplexity. He has been an editor at Nature and New Scientist, and is the author of two prize-nominated books, Ubiquity: The Science of History and Nexus: Small Worlds and the Groundbreaking Science of Networks.

In this summary, you’ll learn how the laws of physics are beginning to provide a new picture of the human or “social” atom. Just as atomic-level chaos gives way to the clockwork precision of thermodynamics, so can free individuals come together in predictable patterns. The insights you’ll gain will allow you to dissect fads, anticipate which companies will win, and understand whether your next product will attract customers -- or collect dust.

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