Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive [NOOK Book]

Overview

How does society function when you can't trust everyone?

When we think about trust - we naturally think about personal relationships or bank accounts.  But that is much too narrow; trust is broader, and far more important.  Nothing in society works without trust. It is the foundation of communities, commerce, democracy, and world stability. 

In this insightful and entertaining book, Schneier weaves together ideas from across the ...

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

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Overview

How does society function when you can't trust everyone?

When we think about trust - we naturally think about personal relationships or bank accounts.  But that is much too narrow; trust is broader, and far more important.  Nothing in society works without trust. It is the foundation of communities, commerce, democracy, and world stability. 

In this insightful and entertaining book, Schneier weaves together ideas from across the social and biological sciences to explore how societies induce and encourage trust–and what happens when it fails in our personal lives, our businesses, communities, and the world.

In today’s hyper-connected society, understanding the mechanisms of trust is as important as understanding electricity was a century ago.  Issues of trust and security are critical to solving problems as diverse as corporate responsibility, global warming, and stagnant political systems.  After reading Liars and Outliers, you’ll think about social problems, large and small, with a new perspective.

"Schneier makes an original and powerful argument for rethinking society. . . . His message is full of insight into how we function, or don't function, and along the way we are constantly hearing from the giants—such as Emerson, Thoreau, Socrates, even Emily Dickinson."
Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker

"Deeply philosophical yet highly accessible, Liars and Outliers is more than thought-provoking—it's the kind of book that fundamentally changes the way you think."
Daniel J. Solove, John Marshall Harlan Research Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School

"Brilliantly dissects, classifies, and orders the social dimension of security—a spectacularly palatable tonic against today's incoherent and dangerous flailing in the face of threats from terrorism to financial fraud."
Cory Doctorow, Author of Little Brother and Makers; co-editor of BoingBoing.net

"Engaging, insightful, and thought-provoking, Liars and Outliers will alter how you think about trust and security."
Dorothy Denning, Distinguished Professor of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School, and author of Information Warfare and Security

"Without trust, nothing can be achieved. Liars and Outliers is a brilliant analysis of the role of trust in society and business."
Claus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

 A note for e-book readers: For ease of reference, the figures used in this book are also located at www.schneier.com/lo.

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  • May11_3/Liars_and_Outliers_Schneier_1118143302_BB_cf61c4d098a75622b7cc988cd6f1da612418eede
    May11_3/Liars_and_Outliers_Schneier_1118143302_BB_cf61c4d098a75622b7cc988cd6f1da612418eede  

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118239018
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/27/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 431,866
  • 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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Table of Contents

A Note for Readers xv

1 Overview 1

PART I THE SCIENCE OF TRUST 15

2 A Natural History of Security 17

3 The Evolution of Cooperation 27

4 A Social History of Trust 41

5 Societal Dilemmas 51

PART II A MODEL OF TRUST 61

6 Societal Pressures 63

7 Moral Pressures 75

8 Reputational Pressures 87

9 Institutional Pressures 103

10 Security Systems 123

PART III THE REAL WORLD 137

11 Competing Interests 139

12 Organizations 155

13 Corporations 173

14 Institutions 195

PART IV CONCLUSIONS 205

15 How Societal Pressures Fail 207

16 Technological Advances 225

17 The Future 243

Notes 249

References 287

Acknowledgments 347

Index 349

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    Highly recommended for the philosopher in all of us

    The book explores how and why societies form, and the factors that by and large induce the cooperation that is part of civilization. The material on morality will certainly challenge those who believe in absolute morality; nonetheless, the book is extremely well written.

    Highlights: defections are expensive; the most successful parasite does not kill its host.

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  • Posted February 10, 2013

    Why do I trust that my neighbor won't burgle my house while I'm

    Why do I trust that my neighbor won't burgle my house while I'm at work, and why do others not have that luxury? How does society try to prevent Joe Badguy from laundering money, and how/why do the systems & pressures supposedly restraining Mr. Badguy sometimes fail or even become counterproductive? Those are the kind of questions Mr. Schneier asks and answers.

    I think of the book a little like the Freakonomics series. Take some simple aspects of everyday life, the kind of things most people have never given a second thought (or a first thought for that matter), and look at them through new-fangled x-ray glasses that allow you to see the underlying mechanisms. Freakonomics looks at economic incentives, while Liars and Outliers looks at the effects of trust and of the various formal and informal systems that [try to] enforce and engender trust, and punish and deter those who are untrustworthy.

    The main reason I'm rating the book 4 stars instead of 5 is that I don't think Liars and Outliers has the same broad appeal as a book like Freakonomics. That said, I'm not sure this is such a bad thing. Freakonomics is so broadly appealing, IMHO, because it picks and chooses case studies for maximum impact and entertainment. Liars and Outliers, in comparison, takes a wider view and explains entire systems from masthead to keel and stem to stern. This leaves it a little drier and less of a page-turner than it otherwise might have been, but also allows for a broader analysis than would be possible in the Freakonomics style.

    For anybody interested in security (computer, physical, societal, or any other type) at all, I wholeheartedly recommend Liars and Outliers. The same goes for anybody who is a sociology layman but enjoys learning about new angles from which to view society and our interactions.

    The one and only thing that I truly disliked about the book is the footnotes, or should I say the you-need-two-bookmarks-and-have-to-constantly-flip-back-and-forth-between-your-current-point-in-the-book-and-the-notes-all-bunched-together-at-the-very-end-of-the-book notes. I know that it was the publisher's choice and not Bruce's, but it is an abomination and it should be burned at the stake alongside unskippable pre-roll commercials on DVDs, homeopaths, and Madonna's remake of American Pie. Bruce, the next time your publisher suggests using this non-footnote-note arrangement in a book of yours, kindly put on your best Chuck Norris grimace (you have the beard already) and apply your foot directly to his face, roundhouse style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    A considered look at security

    Schneier sets out to describe the social contract and how it applies to security, and does an excellent job with this compelling and well-written treatise.

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  • Posted September 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The first chapters of Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Tha

    The first chapters of Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive by Bruce Schneier, a book about the how and why of trust in today's world, were tough going but the balance of the book is well worth the effort. The work seems to be a psychological/sociological description and explanation of how trust comes to be. It seems to be a philosophical work as the author puts forth his ideas about how "defection" from the group expectations can be a positive and/or a negative - for example, people who ran the underground railway in the 1800s were defectors. The work is not a hands-on guide to developing security but is an excellent effort to investigate why we trust . . . trust that the piece of paper our employer gives us can be taken to the bank and exchanged for money or that the lost person at the door isn't really casing the house for a future break-in.

    As I said, the first chapters were difficult but the rest of the book became one it was difficult to put down. Fascinating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

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    Posted June 10, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

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