• "The era of the American Internet is ending.

    Invented by American computer scientists during the 1970s, the Internet has been embraced around the globe. During the network’s first three decades, most Internet traffic flowed through the United States. In many cases, data sent between two locations within a given country also passed through the United States.

    Engineers who help run the Internet said that it would have been impossible for the United States to maintain its hegemony over the long run because of the very nature of the Internet; it has no central point of control. And now, the balance of power is shifting. Data is increasingly flowing around the United States, which may have intelligence — and conceivably military — consequences."

  • Duncan Watts on social networks, popularity, and the predictability of life. "Our desire to believe in an orderly universe leads us to interpret the uncertainty we feel about the future as nothing but a consequence of our current state of ignorance, to be dispelled by greater knowledge or better analysis. But even a modest amount of randomness can play havoc with our intuitions…. But just because we now know that something happened doesn’t imply that we could have known it was going to happen at the time, even in principle, because at the time, it wasn’t necessarily going to happen at all.

    "That doesn’t mean we should stop trying to anticipate the future, any more than we should stop trying to make sense of the past. But it does mean that we should treat both the predictions and the explanations we are served — whether about the next hit single, the next great company or even the next war — with the skepticism they deserve."

  • "It's nearly 40 years old but one leading research company says the days of the computer mouse are numbered."