Book Review: Liars and Outliers

26 February 2013

Liars and Outliers Book Cover

I’ve been a fan of Bruce Schneier ever since I read his post about security theater in the post 9/11 world. As soon as I discovered that he wrote a book, Liars and Outliers, I added it to my to-read list and just finished reading it over the weekend. It’s one of those books that is obvious as you read it but spawns a ton of thoughts. He develops a framework that he uses to analyze security and trust in individuals, organizations, and differently-sized societies.

Trust is the foundation that’s allowing the world to become faster paced and interconnected. We’re interacting with people all across the globe, our organizations and businesses are larger than ever, and we’re more dependent on technology than ever. Modern life depends on these complex trust systems and Schneier does a great job explaining the various interactions and the impact technology is having. As others have said, the 21st century will be about data and the rise of social networks, wearable computers, and the quantified self movement are an indicator of the type of data that will be collected. We need to make sure proper systems are in place to prevent abuse and Liars and Outliers provides a great framework to think about these issues and prepare us for the data century.



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