3 of 5 stars to The Big U by Neal Stephenson bit.ly/159ABTX
Bruce Schneier is discussing his latest book Liars and Outliers on The WELL.
The discussion is still open for the next couple of days but has been very enlightening so far. I particularly like the notion of cooperators and defectors to describe individuals in relation to systems.
Also — and this is the final kicker — not all defectors are bad. If
you think about the notions of cooperating and defecting, they’re
defined in terms of the societal norm. Cooperators are people who
follow the formal or informal rules of society. Defectors are people
who, for whatever reason, break the rules. That definition says nothing
about the absolute morality of the society or its rules. When society
is in the wrong, it’s defectors who are in the vanguard for change. So
it was defectors who helped escaped slaves in the antebellum American
South. It’s defectors who are agitating to overthrow repressive regimes
in the Middle East. And it’s defectors who are fueling the Occupy Wall
Street movement. Without defectors, society stagnates.
I’m a great fan of Schneier’s writing and how his analyses has grown beyond that of computer security to the fundamental notion of what security is and how group within societies embrace or reject aspects of it.
In this the ninth outing for Lincoln Rhyme he is up against a killer that has turned New York city’s electricity grid on its inhabitants. Not only that The Watchmaker has been spotted arriving in Mexico and Rhyme is offering his assistance in capturing the most dangerous and elusive of his foes.
This is a more personal tale than the last few Lincoln Rhyme novels and he is having thoughts about whether he should remain in his current condition. I enjoyed this book a lot, Jeffrey Deaver rarely disappoints, but it is not one of my favourite Lincoln Rhyme books.
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The second book in the Millennium trilogy by the late Stieg Larsson is as good as There Girl with the dragon Tattoo. Dark secrets from Lisbeth Salander’s past cause her to be implicated in the murder of a young couple. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is also connected to the case and in trying to prove Salander’s innocence uncovers things that powerful people do not wish brought to light.
Larsson has created in Lisbeth Salander a truly remarkable character and in this book has crafted yet another intelligent and gripping thriller around her.