Bryan Murdock's Reviews > Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive

Liars and Outliers by Bruce Schneier
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's review
Jun 19, 2012

liked it

I was excited to read this book by the legend himself ( The ideas are important, but it felt like death by examples reading this. The whole book is basically this: present a point and then tell 100 different little stories that back up the point and make it more clear, and then, if like me, you can't resist a good footnote you get about 100 more stories for each point. Many of the stories where interesting and did help bring the points home, but man oh man, for me it was overkill.

Despite that, some very good things to think about it. Living and cooperating with a group of people requires trust and sacrificing some of your own personal wants and needs for the benefit of the group. How do we encourage and/or enforce the self-sacrifice for the benefit of the group? How do we know we can trust the others in our group? How do we do those things for different sized groups and for groups of different compositions? What if you throw in corporations, governments, and other institutions? Groups within groups? Groups of people with competing interests? Groups within groups that are have competing interests? He covers it all. Interesting and important stuff. If you want to learn more about it, and you also happen to love random stories about Boston Harbor fishermen, evolutionary psychology, game theory experiments, computer security, Enron, a bagel salesman, and herd immunity, you'll love this book.
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