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Neal Rauhauser

Joined 10 months ago Principal Investigator for The Internet.

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The Fifth Season (Paperback, 2015, Orbit) 5 stars



An introduction to a fascinating world

5 stars

I don't recall how I discovered Octavia E. Butler twenty years ago but I'm pretty sure I noticed N.K. Jemisin thanks to a review in the Washington Post that compared her work to Butler's Parables books.

The Fifth Season is the beginning of an epic, laying the foundation of a world with a magic system and a hierarchical guild that employs it. A world, like ours, that is changing, changing in ways the humans within it do not expect and may not survive. If you're watching fantasy series via streaming ... the world of The Wheel of Time is probably the best match in terms of feel and scope.

The New Eight Steps to Happiness (Paperback, 2017, Tharpa Publications) 5 stars

A Guide To A Happier Life

5 stars

My first exposure to the Eight Verses of Training the Mind was nearly twenty years ago. I'm pretty sure I first read this book well before the listed 2017 publication date, but as it has "New" in the title, I guess it must have been the prior version? I had it in paperback, now it's a Kindle thing. The more time I spend reading parts of it and ignoring the news of the day, the better each day seems.

Information Operations Recognition: From Nonlinear Analysis to Decision-Making (Paperback, Lambert) No rating

The book is dedicated to the issues of information operations recognition based on analysis of …

Information Operations Recognition - a good read for analysts

No rating

I found this book extremely helpful - it pulled together a lot of things I already knew how to do, and it's got me looking for how to apply spectral analysis to the sort of data I handle.

The table of contents would be more useful for any would-be reader than my opinions.

  1. Information operations.

1.1. Information influence.

1.2. Information operation phases.

1.3. Information operations modeling.

1.4. Information operation recognition problem

1.5. Information operation counteraction problem

1.6. Document analysis

  1. OSINT - open source intelligence.

2.1. OSINT as intelligence domain.

2.1.1. OSINT application spheres.

2.1.2. International experience.

2.2. Information space monitoring.

2.3. Information sources.

2.3.1. The web-space.

2.3.2. Deep web

2.3.3. Social media..

2.3.4. Databases of open sources.

2.4. OSINT technologies

2.5. Legal aspects.

  1. Elements of non-linear dynamics for information

operations recognition

3.1. Time series

3.2. Correlation analysis

3.3. Fourier analysis

3.4. Wavelet analysis

3.5. Correlation with a pattern

3.6. Fractal …

reviewed The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling

Alongside William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling stands at the forefront of a select …

A dispatch from a not to distant future

5 stars

I first read this book not long after it came out, but I revisited it here in 2023, because I had a consulting gig with a client who's on an island somewhere, trying to change the world. I felt that maybe the post collapse Croatian island at the beginning of the book might speak to him.

I don't think he actually read it, but I did, and my sense of what it means as climate change finally arrives in force is ...

The four Caryatids that survive to adulthood are archetypes, larger than life women everyone has encountered, if they're traveling in the realm that is aware of what's happening to our planet. I had not had those experiences when I first read it, but now I'm older ... wiser ... and profoundly weary.

I've dated Vera, I've dated Radmila, and I currently work with Sonja, who dispatched Biserka for …

How Civil Wars Start (Hardcover, 2022, Crown) 5 stars

The influence of modern life on the civil wars, with an emphasis on grievance, faction …

MUST READ: The U.S. Is In Danger

5 stars

Societies plunge into chaos when two preconditions are met. The first is anocracy - the transition zone between democracy and dictatorship. Doesn't matter which way they're moving, it's the change, like a hermit crab getting a new shell, that creates the hazard.

The second is factionalization. We've got well past political parties and into a world where changing is as momentous as converting to a new religion. We mix a little bit less each day and it feels like violence is never very far away.

America has multiple aggrieved ethnic and sectarian groups. The only way to climb down from this is to focus on democratic participation, as South Africa did in the 1990s. The GOP are dragging us precisely in the wrong direction, making violent conflict inevitable.

Reinventing Collapse (Paperback, 2008, New Society Publishers) 5 stars

In the waning days of the American empire, we find ourselves mired in political crisis, …

The Soviet Union Then, the U.S. Today.

5 stars

Orlov's experience of the Soviet collapse and his observations on where American society is in less resilient condition got my attention when I read it clear back in 2008. Some of the things about the Trump years that puzzled and infuriated people around me were what I expected, having read this book well in advance.

Orlov is a sharp observer and despite its age this is still a good read, given the troubles we face today.

Afghanistan: The Bear Trap: The Defeat of a Superpower (2001) 5 stars

Required Reading For Conflict Advisors

5 stars

This book covers the work Pakistan's ISI did supporting the Afghan mujahideen in their battle to expel Russia from their country. I have heard that when this came out CIA personnel bought every copy they could find in order to limit its distribution. I've read a lot of war history over the years, this is one of the absolute best in that genre.

The Balkans (2001) 5 stars

Why the Balkans are so crazy

5 stars

This was one of the first books I picked up during my western history reading phase twenty years ago, and it's the one in my memory that stands out as being a really good read for background on what's happening there today. There are echoes of the Ottoman collapse to be seen in Russia's current convulsions, so it's good for more than just the Kosovo/Serbia conflict.

Distraction (1999) 5 stars

Near future Earth and a new cold war is in full swing - the Dutch …

A Prophecy That Is Coming True

5 stars

This late 1990s political thriller has always seemed fairly prophetic to me. The social constructs and the problems a post collapse America faces in this book are eerily similar to what a quick spin around the news channels on YouTube will show you of 2022.

I have owned three or four copies of this book; it's so good it keeps walking off. I have a fresh copy I acquired in later 2022 that I intend to reread in the first quiet moment ... if 2023 manages to provide such a luxury.

Zero Fail (Hardcover, 2021, Random House) 5 stars

Truly Shocking Revelations

5 stars

From the bitter loss of JFK to saving Reagan, the Secret Service is the president's shield. But the troubles that began during the Clinton years spiraled up to the agency leadership participating in Trump's coup attempt. The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service is the perfect summation of what this book chronicles.

Avoid this clown

1 star

This is a book I bought just so I could offer an honest review on Amazon. There are a number of articles out there about James Scott and ICIT. Here's a snippet from Buzzfeed:

Earlier this year, leaders from the Marine Corps, the Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the NSA, the White House, and the FBI gathered at a Ritz-Carlton in Virginia to discuss the latest in cybersecurity and information warfare.

The event was organized by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, a nonprofit think tank founded just a few years ago that quickly established itself as a convener of well-attended cybersecurity events, a facilitator of Capitol Hill briefings, and the beneficiary of hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorships from top private sector security vendors.

The day’s closing session featured James Scott, ICIT’s senior fellow and cofounder, discussing Russian cyberinfluence operations and his new book about information warfare. What …

American Kompromat (Hardcover, 2021, Dutton) 1 star

Incomplete & Inaccurate

No rating

I know a LOT about MAGA world. I was really excited when this book came out and it's OK as a spy novel, but as a review of history there are way too many instances where Unger does some hand waving to connect things that, if true, would be truly explosive. There are a dozen books on my shelf related to the Trump years, taking the time to read this one left me filled with regret.