No More Magic Wands

No More Magic Wands

Dec 16, 2016John H. ManholdAll Reviews, Business, Non Fiction, Political, Reference, Self-Help, Social Issues

No More Magic Wands ISBN: 9781533538923, an e-book by George Finney.

The book begins with a statement heard almost ad nauseam: “Security is everyone’s job.” This follows with another truism: “That’s what we say as security professionals. But we don’t always act like we believe it. It really does take everyone working in concert to make an organization truly secure. Why, then, do we do so little to enable those outside the cybersecurity field to do their part of the universal security job?” The author continues to enumerate the perfunctory band aids usually provided and then provides a summary statement: “If security is everyone’s job, everyone needs the right tools to actually do the job. Not some of the tools. Not a little of the information. All of it.” He then proceeds to provide the reader with all of the tools AND information required to establish a secure cyber site.

Discussion: First, the material is presented by a man whose credits would appear to make him eminently qualified to furnish information to secure a cyber network. Second, he has set forth chapters that describe in detail the necessities to obtain/maintain cybersecurity, chapter summaries, important takeaway points, open-ended questions and a final summation of the presentation. Third, and perhaps most importantly for presentation of a subject most people just ‘wish would go away’, he has used quite adroitly simple stories in a parable like manner as a lead into each point or series of points he wished to establish for each chapter. AND he has managed to do so in a quite inoffensively effective manner.

Conclusion: The author has delivered/emphasized the importance of a significant number of tools/activities and their interaction for the proper function of a cybersecurity system. This is especially well-worthwhile and a most timely contribution, not only for those intimately involved, but provides a better understanding for the populace of the extent of the problems existing in the international hacking about which the media so endlessly is bombarding today’s population.

5* Cybersecurity, its problems and solutions, cleverly presented.

A Hole in Science

Arevised edition in 2016 e-book by Ted Christopher that he has subtitled: An opening for an alternative understanding of life.

The book’s synopsis recalls the fact that problems have always existed for the scientific understanding of life, particularly with the number of unusual behaviors encountered and suggests exploration of alternatives. For example, with advanced studies of DNA and the genome it was believed that the age of ‘personalized medicine’ was at hand where hereditary disease would be eliminated. Sadly, we are not quite there yet. Hereditary diseases which supposedly could be wiped away by finding and destroying the common variable(s) in their genetic origin, were discovered to have far too many variables. The common factor(s) present could explain only six per cent of the hereditability and almost none of the causality. It is accepted that 99.9 % of human beings are identical. However, that remaining 0.1 % still has a huge variability. The author then proceeds to discuss a number of the variabilities as encountered in monozygotic (identical) twins; Intelligence Conundrums – childhood behavioral syndrome, the child prodigy, the Einstein Syndrome, the Savants and the Flynn Effect (environmental influence); animal mysteries (strange social behavior); those of families; groups; gender; all with a considerable amount of discussion within a religion/science context rather heavy on transcendentalism, reincarnation and similar. A short author’s biography and quite extensive list of references round out the presentation.

Discussion: This is an interesting book for non-scientists. The author in his closing comments states that he wished to provide a discussion “for the curious” and that “The main point of this book has been to point out some of the basic problems with the material-only vision of life.” Even more specifically perhaps, he has listed some of the many questions surrounding life and the manner in which they offer challenges to materialism. Also in his closing remarks, the author cites a strong personal interest in transcendental views as a result of inexplicable dreams as a child as well as a “deep phobia and somehow sensing a connection to someone who had died in a difficult scenario”. The residual effects of such experiences quite obviously can provide intense pressure to investigate, hopefully to deliver some manner of personal catharsis. Certainly this is an acceptable cause that furnishes simultaneously interesting and thought producing material to the inquisitive mind that has not previously had the benefit of exposure to much of the material provided.

Summary: Interesting introductory scientific discussion with religious overtone for the previously uninitiated. Some further editing may have been helpful.

4* somewhat scrambled but interesting book for uninitiated inquisitive reader