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The Keystone Advantage by Marco Iansiti, Roy Levien

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CHAPTER TWO

Shared Fate

It has become an axiom of news coverage and opinion pieces in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, that we live in a highly interconnected world. We are repeatedly reminded—often with urgency bordering on panic-mongering—that just about everything is connected to just about everything else. As the head of the Energy Department’s energy infrastructure assurance program warned shortly after the attacks, “What you have is a complex system of systems on which the U.S. depends. Everything’s hooked to everything.”1 The conclusions drawn from this observation are typically that this interconnectedness makes us all more vulnerable than we might otherwise be; that because “physically isolated events ripple ...

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