OVERconnected: the promise and threat of the internet

Bill Davidow '57 Th'58, author

Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 4:00pm

Zaleski Auditorium, MacLean Engineering Sciences Center

OVERconnected book coverSilicon Valley legend and best-selling author Bill Davidow '57 Th'58 will speak and answer questions about his acclaimed book, Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet in which he explains how the miraculous success of the Internet has also engendered a unique set of hazards and challenges for government, social institutions, business, and economies. The event is free and open to the public.

“The benefits of our highly connected state have been myriad and dramatic, propelling economic growth and making the world more efficient,” Davidow explains. And yet, he warns, such high levels of connectivity can also create a “degree of momentum that is devastating.”

In Overconnected, Davidow anatomizes how overconnectivity can create systems with excessive amounts of positive feedback, making those systems volatile, accident prone, and subject to contagion. He explains how the Internet played a starring role in the collapse of the Icelandic economy, our loss of privacy, and the real estate and financial market crash of 2008.

About the Speaker

Bill DavidowBill Davidow has been a high-technology industry executive and a venture investor for more than 30 years. He continues to act as an active advisor to Mohr Davidow Ventures, a venture capital firm. Davidow is the author of Marketing High Technology and a co-author of Total Customer Service and The Virtual Corporation.

While at Intel, Davidow served as senior vice president of marketing and sales, vice president of the microcomputer division and vice president of the microcomputer systems division. Prior to Intel Corp., he worked in various managerial positions at Hewlett-Packard and General Electric.  Davidow’s community involvement extends to serving on the boards of California Institute of Technology and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He also sits on the Foundation Board of the University of California, San Francisco, and on the Board of the California Nature Conservancy.

Davidow earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Dartmouth, a master's degree in electrical engineering from both Dartmouth and the California Institute of Technology and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University.