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The Seventh Sense

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The Seventh Sense

Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks

Little, Brown US,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To understand the world, grasp the emerging power of networks and connections.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Executive and former journalist Joshua Cooper Ramo believes the world is going to pieces, and he offers a unique theory to explain the chaos. He starts with the idea that the “age of networks” brings connections that create surprising power and unpredictable outcomes. Ramo contends that to comprehend the new world order and make savvy decisions, you must understand these emerging connections. The author meanders at times, but overall, he makes a compelling argument that the world is changing in ways readers would be wise to understand. getAbstract recommends his overview to executives, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, professors, students and anyone seeking clarity in a confusing world.


“The Age of Networks”

As the nascent Industrial Revolution roiled the world, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche theorized that humans needed a “Sixth Sense” to cope with the changes it caused. More than a century later, the Industrial Revolution petered out, leaving a world of factories, trains, ships and planes. A potentially more dramatic era, the age of networks, is replacing the industrial epoch. Navigating this new era will require a “Seventh Sense” – the ability to grasp the power of networks, to recognize their effect, and to understand that old ways of doing things are unlikely to survive a new era of constant connections.

Everyone connects by networks that are sometimes visible and sometimes not. People recognize physical networks, such as New York City or Beijing, and online networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Bitcoin. Some virtual networks are less obvious. People are just beginning to understand artificial intelligence (AI) and DNA databases, networks that will bring about rapid change. Only the keenest observers see other hidden networks, such as the ones by which diseases spread. Water molecules that freeze to form ice are a network, and they offer...

About the Author

Author of the international bestseller The Age of the Unthinkable, Joshua Cooper Ramo is co-CEO and vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, and sits on the boards of Starbucks and FedEx. His first book, No Visible Horizon, chronicled his experiences as a competitive aerobatic pilot.

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    J. H. 6 years ago
    While I agree with the theories I feel the focus on the sky is falling and less about how to build a strong roof leaves little for action. This may be the result of the summary and less with the entire book.