Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive

Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive

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by Bruce Schneier
     
 

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We don't demand a background check on the plumber who shows up to fix the leaky sink. We don't do a chemical analysis on food we eat.

Trust and cooperation are the first problems we had to solve before we could become a social species. In the 21st century, they have become the most important problems we need to solve—again. Our global society has become so

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Overview

We don't demand a background check on the plumber who shows up to fix the leaky sink. We don't do a chemical analysis on food we eat.

Trust and cooperation are the first problems we had to solve before we could become a social species. In the 21st century, they have become the most important problems we need to solve—again. Our global society has become so large and complex that our traditional trust mechanisms no longer work.

Bruce Schneier, world-renowned for his level-headed thinking on security and technology, tackles this complex subject head-on. Society can't function without trust, and yet must function even when people are untrustworthy.

Liars and Outliers reaches across academic disciplines to develop an understanding of trust, cooperation, and social stability. From the subtle social cues we use to recognize trustworthy people to the laws that punish the noncompliant, from the way our brains reward our honesty to the bank vaults that keep out the dishonest, keeping people cooperative is a delicate balance of rewards and punishments. It's a series of evolutionary tricks, social pressures, legal mechanisms, and physical barriers.

In the absence of personal relationships, we have no choice but to substitute security for trust, compliance for trustworthiness. This progression has enabled society to scale to unprecedented complexity, but has also permitted massive global failures.

At the same time, too much cooperation is bad. Without some level of rule-breaking, innovation and social progress become impossible. Society stagnates.

Today's problems require new thinking, and Liars and Outliers provides that. It is essential that we learn to think clearly about trust. Our future depends on it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781118239018
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
01/27/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
354,957
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

BRUCE SCHNEIER is an internationally renowned security technologist who studies the human side of security. A prolific author, he has written hundreds of articles, essays, and academic papers, as well as eleven books that together have sold more than 400,000 copies. He has testified before Congress, is a frequent guest on television and radio, and is regularly quoted in the press. His blog and monthly newsletter at www.schneier.com reach over 250,000 devoted readers worldwide.
"The closest thing the security industry has to a rock star."
The Register

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