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Liars and Outliers

author: Bruce Schneier (2012)
date read: 3 February 2018
rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Well-written, an easy read.

It lays out a model of trust: there are cooperators and defectors, and competing societal pressures affect whether somebody cooperates or defects (according to a particular group). The model is clearly explained, and then applied to a number of scenarios. I don’t have much of knowledge of security or sociology, but I always understood what was being said.

I was worried the book might focus on computer security (which is how I’m aware of Bruce Schneier) – it avoids that trap, but is somewhat US-centric. And it’s a personal nit, but the continued flipping between he/she pronouns when singular they would have worked throughout was irksome.

I don’t think there’s anything ground-breaking here, but as a novice in the field I very much enjoyed it.

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