The book does an okay job discussing some of the world of SIGINT. The book doesn't progress to solid conclusions, but as previous reviewer said, tends to jump around.
As a former SIGINT worker, I think that the book best details the goverments over reliance on technical intelligence as well as indirectly exposes the results of the brain drain of the 80's from the agencies as we left to join the "gold rush" of technology start-ups.
The best parts for me are the discussion of how public technologies have caught and surpassed NSA capabilities. There are some interesting character analysis of people who do this work. As a former traffic and crypto-analyst, I have to agree with the section on how we perceive ourselves, relative to the others within the intelligence community.
Overall worth the read. There are things to get past as other reviews point out, but does provide great kernels of wisdom. It did take a second listen to pick out all of the points.
I was a student in both psychology and computer science in AI's heyday of the early to mid 80's. This book is an encapsulation of the "pieces" from the various fields and theories from the world of cognitive science and reminded me of a lot of things that I had forgotten that had originally inspired me.
Jeff Hawkings introduces a clear and unified way of thinking about how our minds work. The material is presented such that anyone can understand. It is also so clearly presented, that it conjures a lot of ?why didn?t I see this??.
Not only is this full of examples and explanations (including downloadable figures), but it has enough rigor to the theory to present ways to test these theories. I liked his approach to this topic, explaining why previous ventures in AI didn?t work like they were hyped.
As someone who worked on expert systems, I?m ready to go back to the drawing board and try to apply this theory.
As someone who was working at IBM up to just prior to the time covered in this book, I found it engrossing as well as very indicative of the situation at the time. This book is an excellent discourse on corporate culture and how change has to occur from the top to be effective. Having lived through some failed attempts at other companies, this is a good blueprint with anecdotal history of how a company goes about properly re-inventing itself.
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