Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust That Society Needs to Thrive Hardcover – 17 Feb 2012
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"One of the best books I′ve read this year is by a security technologist, Bruce Schneier. In Liars and Outliers, he sets out to investigate how trust works in society and in business, how it is betrayed and the degree to which technology changes all of that, for the better or the worse. Schneier absolutely understands how profoundly trust oils the wheels of business and of daily life." (Margaret Heffernan, CBS MoneyWatch)
"This book will appeal not only to customers interested in computer security but also on the idea of security and trust as a whole in society." (The Bookseller, 16th December 2011)
"This book should be read by anyone in a leadership role, whether they′re in the corporate or political sphere... an easy read and the ideas and thoughts are profound." (Naked Security, February 2012)
"By concentrating on the human angle and packing the book with real world examples he has successfully stretched its appeal outside that of the security specialist to the more general reader." (E & T Magazine, March 2012)
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR LIARS AND OUTLIERS
"A rich, insightfully fresh take on what security really means!"
DAVID ROPEIK, Author of How Risky is it, Really?
"Schneier has accomplished a spectacular tour de force: an enthralling ride through history, economics, and psychology, searching for the meanings of trust and security. A must read."
ALESSANDRO ACQUISTI, Associate Professor of Information Systems and Public Policy at the Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University
"Liars and Outliers offers a major contribution to the understandability of these issues, and has the potential to help readers cope with the ever–increasing risks to which we are being exposed. It is well written and delightful to read."
PETER G. NEUMANN, Principal Scientist in the SRI International Computer Science Laboratory
"Whether it′s banks versus robbers, Hollywood versus downloaders, or even the Iranian secret police against democracy activists, security is often a dynamic struggle between a majority who want to impose their will, and a minority who want to push the boundaries. Liars and Outliers will change how you think about conflict, our security, and even who we are."
ROSS ANDERSON, Professor of Security Engineering at Cambridge University and author of Security Engineering
"Readers of Bruce Schneier′s Liars and Outliers will better understand technology and its consequences and become more mature practitioners."
PABLO G. MOLINA, Professor of Technology Management, Georgetown University
"Liars & Outliers is not just a book about security it is the book about it. Schneier shows that the power of humour can be harnessed to explore even a serious subject such as security. A great read!"
FRANK FUREDI, author of On Tolerance: A Defence of Moral Independence
"This fascinating book gives an insightful and convincing framework for understanding security and trust."
JEFF YAN, Founding Research Director, Center for Cybercrime and Computer Security, Newcastle University
"By analyzing the moving parts and interrelationships among security, trust, and society, Schneier has identifi ed critical patterns, pressures, levers, and security holes within society. Clearly written, thoroughly interdisciplinary, and always smart, Liars and Outliers provides great insight into resolving society′s various dilemmas."
JERRY KANG, Professor of Law, UCLA
"By keeping the social dimension of trust and security in the center of his analysis, Schneier breaks new ground with an approach that both theoretically grounded and practically applicable."
JONATHAN ZITTRAIN, Professor of Law and Computer Science, Harvard University and author of The Future of the Internet And How to Stop It
"Eye opening. Bruce Schneier provides a perspective you need to understand today s world."
STEVEN A. LEBLANC, Director of Collections, Harvard University and author of Constant Battles: Why We Fight
"An outstanding investigation of the importance of trust in holding society together and promoting progress. Liars and Outliers provides valuable new insights into security and economics."
ANDREW ODLYZKO, Professor, School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota
"What Schneier has to say about trust and betrayal lays a groundwork for greater understanding of human institutions. This is an essential exploration as society grows in size and complexity."
JIM HARPER, Director of Information Policy Studies, CATO Institute and author of Identity Crisis: How Identification is Overused and Misunderstood
"Society runs on trust. Liars and Outliers explains the trust gaps we must fill to help society run even better."
M. ERIC JOHNSON, Director, Glassmeyer/McNamee Center for Digital Strategies, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College
"An intellectually exhilarating and compulsively readable analysis of the subtle dialectic between cooperation and defection in human society. Intellectually rigorous and yet written in a lively, conversational style, Liars and Outliers will change the way you see the world."
DAVID LIVINGSTONE SMITH, author of Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others
"Schneier tackles trust head on, bringing all his intellect and a huge amount of research to bear. The best thing about this book, though, is that it′s great fun to read."
ANDREW MCAFEE, Principal Research Scientist, MIT Center for Digital Business and co–author of Race Against the Machine
"Bruce Schneier is our leading expert in security. But his book is about much more than reducing risk. It is a fascinating, thought–provoking treatise about humanity and society and how we interact in the game called life."
JEFF JARVIS, author of Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live
"Both accessible and thought provoking, Liars and Outliers invites readers to move beyond fears and anxieties about security in modern life to understand the role of everyday people in creating a healthy society. This is a must–read!"
DANAH BOYD, Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University
"Trust is the sine qua non of the networked age and trust is predicated on security. Bruce Schneier s expansive and readable work is rich with insights that can help us make our shrinking world a better one."
DON TAPSCOTT, co–author of Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business
and the World
"An engaging and wide–ranging rumination on what makes society click. Highly recommended."
JOHN MUELLER, author of Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them
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Top customer reviews
He has a way of clearly explaining the real issues that helps even those with limited experience understand some of the more complex scenarios. He takes the reader step by step through the various problems and makes even the most dry topic thoroughly readable. The writing is interspersed with real world examples that highlight those areas where things work well; and he takes various agencies to task over the foolish policies and strategies that do nothing to help secure the individual, organisation or nation.
Those that work in IT should definitely read this; and it would be of considerable use to senior managers, HR staff, politicians and anyone that has an interest in how society is developing.
First, like a physicist approaching economics, he could look around in his new field, loudly announce everything the experts have been doing wrong for decades, and proceed to make a fool of himself. Second, like an experienced excel user approaching an actual programming problem for the first time, he could be spending pages and pages furiously applying completely the wrong tool to an actual problem, wasting everybody's time.
Fortunately, mr. Schneier has avoided both traps with style by taking this book in a -for me at least- unexpected direction. This book is a tool-kit to help you think about trust and security related issues as they occur everywhere in society. In a slow but steady pace, using a lot of case-studies as examples, mr. Schneier shows us how to identify these types of issues, how to think about the various actors involved, and -and this is the most important bit- how to approach a possible solution. The book talks about all trade-offs involved, and also spends sufficient time about the fallacy of perfect security, and the impossibility of eliminating the need for trust. He never goes so far as to propose solutions for the many complex problems in this field that society faces, but he establishes an excellent vocabulary for talking about this type of problem, and that makes this book very valuable.
I know a lot of people in today's society who could benefit from reading this. Politicians who have to create the trust systems we live in, public servants across all fields who have to write the rules that govern the system, all the people who complain when these systems fail, and all the journalists who then follow the popular cry for more expensive, trust-eliminating rules. I fear not enough of these people will.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and heartily recommend everyone who came this far to read it, talk about it, pass it on.
This book is divided in four parts. In the first part Schneier brings the reader up to par with the current state of the 'science of trust', as he calls it. In these chapters he talks about the way human beings and some animals cooperate, how cooperation developed in their respective species, what altruism is, and what a society is. This first section of the book ends with an interesting set of societal dilemmas and - most importantly - a framework by which each of these dilemmas can be understood. In this framework Schneier puts the societal (or group) interest over against the interest of the party (or person) that wants to defect.
Part two of the book presents four pressures influencing every societal dilemma, namely societal, moral, reputational and institutional. Each one of these parts of this model of trust is described in detail and explained through examples. This part of the book ends with an overview of the topic of security and how it relates towards these pressures. In this chapter, Schneier shows once again how good and well-balanced security is necessary to counterbalance the different forms of trust. He also describes how security influences each of the four pressures.
The first two parts of the book are quite theoretical and systemic, but legible and understandable nevertheless. In the third section Schneier takes his models into the real world, to see how they fit in. He does so from the perspective of competing interests within organizations (each group of people), corporations (different from individual people because they're no people with personal interests), and institutions (governmental groups, with their particular interests). What has kept with me after reading these chapters is that each 'society' has its own interests and that these interests do not always fit in with the interests of others. I believe that dissecting societal dilemmas through Schneier's model of trust really helps to gain a fuller understanding of the weight and content of the forces at work.
The fourth and final part of the book contains three chapters with conclusions. For some part, these chapters are a repetition of the previous chapters. They contain, however, a kind of counterbalance to the well-reasoned and rational model of trust Schneier presented, because of the concept of the human psychology that sometimes gives us the desire to do things that are not so reasonable. Moreover, he describes some of the technological advances that have been made and will be made, and - more importantly - how both cooperators and defectors make use of technology. This section also holds a fiery speech in favor of well-reasoned, community-based, transparant, and general forms of security technology.
In his last chapter Schneier once again makes sure that we understand that security is not something do once and then forget, it's a process that needs to be readjusted all the time. It's also important to keep in mind that society both needs cooperators and defectors (or outliers), since the latter group is able to foster innovation, that can be used to improve society for all of us.
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I am in the process of reading Bruce Schneier's latest book, "Liars and Outliers"...Very good it is too.Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to ThriveRead more
It does not disappoint.Read more
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