Albert Laszlo Barabasi is a scientist who has long been studying networks and self-organization, and he's got a new book coming out: Bursts: The Hidden Patterns Behind Everything We Do

He's setup an online experiment in networking, based on some of the ideas in the book, and he's looking for people to join:

BuRSTS is a performance in human dynamics, a game of cooperation and prediction, that will gradually unveil the full text of Bursts. In a nutshell, if you register at, you will be able to adopt one of the 84,245 words of the book. Once you adopt, the words adopted by others will become visible to you -- thus as each words finds a parent, the whole book will become visible to the adopters. But if you invite your friends (and please do!) and you are good at predicting hidden content, the book will unveil itself to you well before all words are adopted. We will even send each day free signed copied of Bursts to those with the best scores.

Not having read the book, I don't really know what this experiment is about, but it's mildly addicting if you like unscrambling words. So far less than 800 words have been adopted - there are still nearly 84,000 left, so go check it out. If we can get 84,000 people adopting words before April 29, the whole book will be available online free to anyone who signs up.

I have aired my issues with some aspects of network science here, but Barabasi's last book, Linked, was very good, and I'm betting this next one will be too. It's been good so far - for the first two pages, which I've read largely by unscrambling each word one at a time.

Read the feed: