Book Review: Liars & Outliers by Bruce Schneier

51h9Svp3L5L._AA300_SH20_OU01_Over the winter break I started diving through Liars & Outliers and was interested to read a book, other than Applied Cryptography, by Bruce.  His blog is outstanding so I was looking forward to the read.

The book breaks down the societal pressures placed upon people in order to maintain a level of cohesiveness.  I am simplifying here, but generally that is the theme.  This is not a security book, a crypto book, but is a book that breaks down the problem in deteriorating trust models around the world.. unfortunately without a solution (as if it would be that easy)!

The principle opening of the book I feel could be improved by the consideration of Emergence and Chaos theory, but otherwise the book is based on research done by other’s and a good observant perspective.

A few sections where I did write in the margins related to –

  • Misunderstanding the reason for defection.  The common challenge of putting in controls to prevent an activity that have zero effect on the defector
  • Elements that define why defectors in a technological world are successful (later in the book).

Overall, I would recommend this as a kindle read given I didn’t do much note taking…  A decent read for those interested in the topic.  If you are looking for security though, that should be directed towards Bruce’s blog or his security books.

Best,

James

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About pcidss

Proficient in IT Controls, IT Security, and Risk management. My recent interests lie in the credit card security and protecting identities. This blog will reflect the past, current, and future best steps to securing data (specifically in the context of PCI DSS, and DSOP)
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