This is not an easy book to catalogue.
- It deals with the mathematical properties of networks, but is not a math book.
- It spends time on social networks, but is not a sociology book.
- It talks about movies, but is not about Hollywood.
- It also talks about the spread of AIDS, epidemics and pandemics but is not a medicine book.
- The Internet and Google figure prominently but it is not a computer science book.
Prof. Barábasi takes the reader on a tour of various subjects, pointing out the characteristics of their networks, for instance:
- A technology (for instance, PDAs or vaccines) will get adopted by the mainstream not because of the early adopters, but because of their friends who become convinced of the new technology and they will spread the word to the rest of the non nerd population.
- Resilience vs. vulnerability - The Internet is resilient, but is vulnerable to attacks or failures, if these take place in specific hubs. One only has to remember how India's Internet access was severely disrupted a few months ago, when a transatlantic cable was accidentally broken.
- The behaviour of genes is not only at the structural level, but also at a functional level. This means that it behaves differently at various levels.