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Breakpoint by Richard A. Clarke


by Richard A. Clarke

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It is now the close of 2014 and I just finished reading this book which Richard Clarke expected to be predictive when published seven years ago. Clarke failed mostly because he doesn’t understand statistical reasoning. His premise is that the future causes of cataclysmic cyber/technology events will come from the least expected areas (like fundamentalist Christians rather than Muslims who have been at war with America for quite some time). So here is where I believe his reasoning is flawed: Large populations of Muslims are heavily influenced by many of their leaders to hate Americans and plan for their destruction vs. American evangelicals who are taught by their leaders to respect their county and participate lawfully in its democracy. While it is true that every group is vulnerable to off-shoot crack pots, Clarke predicts that Christian fundamentalists (who have no active or supported leaders who are at war with America) will be the future bad guys. The Muslims (the larger and actively at war with America group) aren’t even mentioned. Here we are seven years later and the evidence shows that Mr. Clarke got it wrong. As for the rest of his technology use/misuse concerns the subject matter is interesting the analysis poor. ( )
  SamTekoa | Dec 28, 2014 |
Clarke was the counterterrorism head for Clinton and George W. Bush, until his resignation. He has written non-fiction books on government and national security.

This book, however, is a novel, and it is one that will change your view of the world. The novel sees several technologies, including nanotechnology, biology, computer science, and cognitive science, as on the verge of creating a new world in which our conceptions of what it is to be human must change. Soon we will be capable of creating advanced humans, genetically engineered and with cyber interfaces. The book brings up that perhaps the legal and ethical issues aren't being thought through carefully. What will the world be like when the rich are a distinctly different new species, with capabilities beyond the reach of the rest of humanity?

The plot follows attacks on much of the country's Internet traffic as well as on certain researchers and research facilities. The attacks are presumed to be from the Chinese, but retaliation has to wait to be sure of the facts. Two agents are working to follow the trail of the research and who might want to destroy these particular projects.

The characters are well-done, but it is the plot that is mind-blowing in its implications. WELL worth reading for understanding where the human race might be headed. ( )
  reannon | Aug 19, 2009 |
Richard Clark brings us a timely story about the convergence of major forces of which most are terribly unaware. I enjoyed the story and the plot was plausible. Some of the characters felt a bit forced rather than polished. Sadly, the proofreading and editing were a major distraction with incorrect grammar and spelling jumping off the page at times.

I can recommend this book based on the subject matter or as a light thriller. ( )
  gpsman | Feb 16, 2009 |
I'm normally a big admirer of novelists who build their stories around well-researched and thought provoking concepts. The controversy at the heart of the novel (whether the converging sciences of genetics and information technology should be embraced as the next phase of human evolution or regulated to avoid the demise of humanity) is probably the most vexing issue we will face in the twenty-first century. And one cannot fault Richard Clarke for his research or insider's knowledge of global politics and the defense industrial complex. The problem is that the story and characters feel contrived, existing solely to allow the author to drive home his message. The editing of the book is also surprisingly poor for a major publisher, the numerous typos and grammatical errors having the unfortunate effect of undercutting the book's overall credibility.

One day there will be a thriller worthy of this subject matter. In the meantime, readers interested in exploring these weighty issues should stick with the non-fiction work of Ray Kurzweil, such as "The Age of Spiritual Machines." ( )
  KevinJoseph | Jul 30, 2007 |
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To those who seek truth through science even when the powerful try to surpress it
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The yellow flame leaper into the air where the ocean hit the land.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0399153780, Hardcover)

In Against All Enemies, Richard Clarke warned about how we were conducting the war against terror. In his bestselling first novel, The Scorpion's Gate, he demonstrated what could happen. And now, in Breakpoint, America's preeminent counterterrorism expert and #1 bestselling author shows us all what might come next.

The global village--an intricately intertwined network of technology that binds together the world's economies, governments, and communication systems. So large, so vital--and so fragile. Now a sophisticated group is seeking to "disconnect the globe"--destroying computer grids, communications satellites, Internet cable centers, biotech firms. Hard to do? If only that were so.

Quickly, a dedicated team of men and women assembles to try to track the group down, searching through right-wing militias and Russian organized crime, Jihadist terrorists and enemy nation-states. But the attacks are coming more swiftly now, and growing in destructiveness. Soon, they will reach the breakpoint--and then there may be nothing anybody can do.

In an exclusive video message for Amazon.com customers, Richard Clarke introduces his new novel, and explains why, as he says, "sometimes you can tell more truth through fiction":

Reviewers everywhere praised the suspense and pace of The Scorpion's Gate, the vivid depictions of war, espionage, and bureaucracy, but most of all they hailed its authenticity. "Unlike most novelists, the man has been there and done that," said The New York Times Book Review. "Some of us," added The Washington Post, "have learned to listen when Richard A. Clarke has something to say." And we'd better hope they're listening now.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"The global village - an intricately intertwined network of technology that binds together the world's economies, governments, and communications. So large, so vital - and so fragile. Now a sophisticated group is seeking to "disconnect the globe," destroying internet cable centers, computer grids, communications satellites, biotech firms. Hard to do? If only that were so." "The major government agencies all lumber into action, but behind the scenes, the special projects office of the Intelligence Analysis Center knows that to catch unconventional terrorists requires unconventional methods. A small team - smart, agile, and quick - immediately start to sift through a welter of often contradictory information about right-wing militias, Russian organized crime, Jihadist terrorists, and enemy nation-states, chasing leads all across the country and overseas. But the attacks are coming more swiftly now, and growing in destructiveness. Soon, they will reach the breakpoint - and then there may be nothing anybody can do." "Breakpoint is filled with the technology being developed right now for a future just around the corner or in many cases already here - a technology certain to cause enormous political, social, and economic change. Will the changes be for better or worse? And what will happen then? The answers will surprise you."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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