LibraryThing Author:
Jay G. Heiser

Jay G. Heiser is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Member: jaygheiser

CollectionsYour library (1,523), Heiser Hollow (207), First American Edition (6), Autographed (41), First Edition (31), E-Book (30), Read but unowned (45), Gave away (53), Elizabeth (6), Currently reading (1), To read (6), All collections (1,861)

Reviews479 reviews

Tagsfiction (119), information security (86), history (77), guidebook (74), information (72), photography (69), fantasy (67), information history (40), gardening (38), Christianity (36) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meI've been an analyst with Gartner since 2004, and have been in the IT industry since 1986.

About my libraryMy library contains two specialists collections, one on information security and one on the more abstract and related topic of 'information.' Interested in the history and nature of information, I've been collecting historical books on computer security, with several from the 1970s.

My belief is that my collection of books on information is significant, containing many texts that I have not found at sources such as the libraries at Royal Holloway and the London Science Museum. Books from the 1930s-60s on the use of punched card equipment constitute a subset of this collection. I certainly don't limit myself to technical histories: at least half of the collection is composed of more philosophical and historical treatises on the social effects of information.

Although I consider them to be interesting and I recommend them, I am not including recent business-oriented texts such as Wikinomics, The Big Switch, and Everything is Miscellaneous. This is an arbitrary and probably wrong decision on my part, especially given the relevancy of Weinberger's book to the area of finding information.

Just as a matter of pride, I've kept a list of all books I've read, along with comments, since 1999. The many books that I started, but did not finish, do not appear on this lifelist. I exported that list, which includes some books I do not own, and used it as the starting point for my list on Librarything. I've since added most of the books in my home office, but not books belonging to my wife or son.

GroupsInformation, Information Security, Post-apocalyptic Literature


Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

LocationVienna, Virginia, USA

Favorite authorsNot set

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/jaygheiser (profile)
/catalog/jaygheiser (library)

Member sinceJun 29, 2008

Currently readingThe Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri

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I was wondering how much you had looked at and whether you had found it as unreliable as I did.
I just got your message about an information group. Sorry it took so long, but the infrequency of my visits is an index of my group participation. However, I'm responding now because of my focus on the concept of information at the sub-cellular level, e.g., the genetic code.
I'm doing independent research on this taking the following approach:
There is a void in the explanatory framework of molecular biology. The narrative of protein synthesis as a process is superb, and continues to be refined at a furious pace. But while this narrative tells us the actions that take place, and the agents involved, when it comes to a scientific explanation of these actions in terms of laws, we get a reductionistic account of discrete chemical reactions. Discrete chemical reactions do not begin to touch the need to explain the phenomena of a genetic code! Here we see part of the problem: “code” is a metaphor for an informational system whose explanation is part of the void-—not the discrete parts, but the system as a whole. In this context it makes sense that there is no fundamental explanation for the information-transfer processes that have been part of the narrative since the late 1940s (Kay, 2000).
I've just spent a few months reading Kay's book (I have a day job as an instructional designer in NYC, which, by the way, is over and I'm doing a search, so if you know of any jobs meeting this description, please let me know []). I'll post some info about it, but the title says a lot.
I would guess from your profile that we are in separate realms here--there are many mansions in the realm of information. BTW, do you have Machlup and Mansfield (Eds.)(1983), "The study of information"?
If you would like to talk further the best way is via email as above. I did a Ph.D. in the ballpark of the topic I'm now doing research on, and have been thinking about information since the 70s when I stared doing academic work in systems theory and cybernetics.

Just read your review of Steinberg's "Why Switzerland?" which summarises everything about the book (and a lot about the country!) and which I cannot add to.

I visited Switzerland last about ten years ago, just after the most recent referendum on joining the EU was lost. A local explained to me that all the French, Italian and Romanch speakers voted for it, but the German speakers generally voted against - on the grounds that whilst they are currently Top Dog within Switzerland, once within a wider EU they would merely be a subset of the wider German-speaking European community.

Strangely enough, the Swiss habit of flying flags betrayed a certain degree of acceptance of the idea of the EU as that flag could be seen on many houses, even within the German-speaking cantons. Again, many locals commented that the Swiss generally think the EU is A Good Idea, even if they can't quite be persuaded that it's right for them to join! (Many Swiss take umbrage at the trade tariff barriers to exporting Swiss wine into the EU, for example, though personally I think [based on observation]that's just an excuse so they can justify drinking it all themselves...)

I note recently that the idea is gaining ground again, so it may come back onto the political radar soon.
Thanks for your comments and recommendations, Jay. Always good to know others of like mind!
re: Uniqueness.

Essentially, yes.
J —

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