Nilesh'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
Oct 05, 2012

it was ok

The book effectively theorizes that almost all real life activities are an expression of "trust" or "security". Adam Smith would claim all real life activities as an effort to further economic interest. Richard Dawkins would make them an evolution thing. Some pope might believe in the religious meanings and some Plato in moral. All these might be valid even if narrow perspectives from particular vantage points, except that trust/security is exceptionally uninteresting, ridiculously narrow and often too obvious.

For most part, the book ends up sub-dividing trust/security features into numerous categories. At every point, dozens of real life interactions are used to make mostly obvious points about these newly defined categories. Nothing wrong with all this, except that the purpose of any frame-work is never made clear. As a result, a lot appear like creation of ever more explanations for fairly straightforward arguments, and without any real purpose.

There are good discussions when the author imports the concepts from the game theory and uses them to explain externalities, tragedies of common and similar real life dilemmas. While all these are also given the "trust" twist and perspectives, they are separate social issues and add to one's learning.
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