A non-infosec book review: Reinventing Discovery (a call to arms)

Reinventing Discovery – The New Era of Networked Scienced

How is this applicable to information security community – well, this book has tips on how to evolve a culture (science in this case) to embrace massive collaboration to extend the ability of the total group, not only for the basic scale premise.  Time to think beyond scaling to reduce duplication, but collaborate to extend our competency and capability of tackling the largest challenges.  When I read this book – I replaced science for information security – in some areas we excelled, but in others we are lacking.

I saw this book doing research on enabling communities.  The book is written for scientists and focuses a great deal of attention on the impressive community / volunteer lead efforts that are global – The Polymath effort, Galaxy Zoo, and Foldit.  If you have not heard of those I would recommend checking them out – very interesting.

A great challenge of working with friends, colleagues, and at scale is enabling the exchange of information.   Beyond that though is the new difficulty centered on the immensity and complexity of the problems.  Today we deal with scenarios that require systems to augment human intelligence, and it is only with an equal approach can we satisfy the needs of society.  Perhaps this is my own call to action for the Information Security community, similar to that for the science community.  Given the dependency of technology, and the severity of the threats – openness and effectiveness at a capacity we have yet achieved is required as we move forward into 2012.

I recommend checking this book out.  There are some basic areas in the book, some areas focused on evangelizing the need for open science, and finally there are some truly valuable points made on how to scale across Peter Drucker’s Knowledge Worker.

Key quotes I captured while reading include:

In science field, sharing data actually inhibits personal careers and so structures are required to be changed for enabling at the personal level through enterprise

Citizen Science is tremendously successful … and is applicable to information security – Community InfoSec (breaking down challenges to enable those passionate and motivated)

“An ideal architecture of attention enables the largest, most cognitively diverse group to best utilize the limited available attention so that at any given time each participant is maximizing their comparative advantage”

Collaboration and attention must happen broadly and at scale – eventually micro-ecosystems can evolve, but only after momentum achieved

Process:  Collaborate; Build; Breach (Metric: missed deadline; bottle necks); Break – a – part; Build >>> Continually breakdown processes

Shared Praxis – “…to amplify collective intelligence: participants must share a body of knowledge and techniques”

All in all a worth book, quick read …


James DeLuccia


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