Reading List


The Signal and the Noise – Nate Silver’s book on why predictions fail and why “big data” is not the panacea a lot of people think or hope.

The Shadow Factory – Fascinating information on the volumes, and data processing/analysis challenges, facing the US/UK intelligence community.  I thought it was remarkable for the specificity and detail about what was not too long ago still known as “No Such Agency”.  If ever there was an argument for needing smarter ways to approach content processing and the automation of human analytical processes (i.e. what I spend most of my days thinking about), the first chapter of this book is it, and worth the price all by itself.

Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping – Not as rich as the Shadow Factory, but delves more deeply into the human-level daily block and tackle of the analysts trying to keep up with information overload.

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything – Before I became a computer nerd, I was a finance and economics nerd.  This book is an easy, readable and fun (yes, fun) example of how the science of data analysis and a passion for numbers can reveal amazing patterns and unsuspected truths.

The Age of Sacred Terror – As a lay person, I found this a clear and very readable explanation of the historical roots and evolution of Islamic extremism from ancient times through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The World is Flat – In my opinion, a must read for every single person who runs a business, works in a business, or dreams of starting one.  From Indian programmers in Bangalore to the order takers working five states away from the McDonald’s drive-through they service, this book reveals how deeply information technology is changing everything people do for a living.

No Tech Hacking – Kevin Mitnick books are mental bubble gum for me.  Simple, easy to understand, kind of fun in an indulgent sort of way.



Zero Day Threat – The Shocking Truth of How Banks and Credit Bureaus Help Cyber Crooks Steal Your Money and Identity

CyberWar – by Richard Clarke. He’s a former advisor to my company and a very bright, knowledgeable guy

Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet



Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: Theory and Technique – Twisting bits is my vocation, twisting joints my avocation.  They are sadly, more often than not, my own that end up getting beaten up, but if there were infinite hours in the day, I’d rather read about Jiu Jitsu than almost anything else.

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself.  This wouldn’t normally be my kind of thing, (I run once a year – 13 miles every Labor Day) but I’m fascinated by the science of ultra-endurance athletics.

The Eight by Katherine Neville (this is a re-read, but my favorite “just for fun” yarn).

The Wreck of the Mary Deare

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Simple Courage: The True Story of Peril on the Sea

The Master of Disguise



he Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet

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