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My current research and reading list

By Steve Slawson | July 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

I had planned to do a long and deeply insightful post about my reading list.  It has a lot of influences in there for lots of reasons, from physical fitness, to fiction, non fiction, and even a place for quick read of Kitchen Confidential.  The image was taken 2 weeks before Bourdain’s death.

Unfortunately though I am in Chicago for SME work in the very near future and I need to prepare.  The good news is this will be covered in detail in my forthcoming book on working in the Cyber Security field.  I’ll talk about what I do to prepare for SME work and a whole lot more good stuff too.


Bibliography – Morgan, Richard K. – Altered Carbon

By Steve Slawson | February 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Bet you can guess why I tried to sneak in a quick reread (number 5 or 6)?  I tried to beat out the release of new Netflix series, by inserting the read in between to two work books on Program Management, and delaying my Raspberry Pi builds.  I made it to page 302, stalled, watched the first episode of the series, then read the rest of the book.  First 3 episodes of the series watched.  I concur with Forbes assessment –

The Critics Must Be Crazy: ‘Altered Carbon’ Is A Terrific New Netflix Original

The link to original written work.


Bibliography – Bailey, Chris – The Productivity Project

By Steve Slawson | January 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey

Excellent book.  Merges well with concepts from Deep Work.  The writer emphasizes several concepts related to performance and productivity that I have been a huge proponent of for years.  Diet, exercise, nutrition and sleep quality not only play an enormous role in your ability to perform physically in pursuits like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, they also have enormous impact on your mental abilities.  Meditation is equally important for a long list of reasons.

I did find it interesting that the author was unable to achieve his goal of getting up at 5:30 every morning.  I will highlight this issue with Jocko Willink’s ridiculous assertion that you should get up every morning at 04:00am.  I am up every morning at 5:00, and usually at Jiu Jitsu ready to train by 0615.

Most of the ideas presented by the author I have had implemented and refined for years.  Still I hope to find areas of improvement based on the work presented.  These will be contrasted later to what I consider the needed work environment characteristics for serious Information Security professionals to succeed.




Advanced Security Practitioner – SME

By Steve Slawson | January 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

I just completed another SME engagement for CompTIA in the frozen wasteland they call Chicago in January.  It was the first time I have seen a temperature of 22 degrees while raining.  It turns out this was my 14th SME engagement for CompTIA going all the back to like 2009.  This event was for the Advanced Security Practitioner certification.  The material is VERY complex and the people there are lazer sharp in their areas of expertise, CompTIA staff included.  I always learn something at these events.  Until last week I had never even heard of STIX / TAXII.  I’d like to develop a follow up blog on STIX / TAXI because it will have profound effect on the managed services industry it becomes widely implemented.

Review?  Had fun.  Learned a lot.  Melted brain.



CompTIA CASP Certification




Bibliography – Vandermeer, Jeff – Authority

By Steve Slawson | January 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

Book review for the second book in the Southern Reach Trilogy.

Authority by Jeff Vandermeer.

Review?  Unknown.  Too strange to have much of an opinion on.  Enjoyed Annihilation more, but curious to see how 3rd and final book goes.




Bibliography – Vandermeer, Jeff – Annihilation

By Steve Slawson | January 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

More lightning fast book reviews.

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer.

The book is is so weird I can’t be sure if I liked it or not.  Definitely a worthwhile read.


Trailer for upcoming film:



Bibliography – Newport, Cal – Deep Work

By Steve Slawson | January 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

Book reviews done with a quickness.

Deep Work by Cal Newport.

Review?  Excellent book.  Pleased with the content and delivery.  Immediately on my list for a second read through.



Bibliography – Duhigg, Charles – Smarter, Faster, Better

By Steve Slawson | January 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

Book review, short and sweet.

Smarter Faster Better, Charles Duhigg

Honestly I hated it.  Which is not to say I have anything against the author whom I am sure is a fine person.  This book did not appeal to me.



Bibliography – Port, Michael – Steal the Show

By Steve Slawson | January 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

Book review, short and sweet.

Steal the Show, Michael Port.

Watched a couple examples of his public speaking.  Purchased and read said book.  Review?  It was decent.