Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive
About This Book
How does society function when you can't trust everyone?
When we think about trust, we naturally think about personal relationships or bank vaults. That's too narrow. Trust is much broader, and much more important. Nothing in society works without trust. It's the foundation of communities, commerce, democracy—everything.
In this insightful and entertaining book, Schneier weaves together ideas from across the social and biological sciences to explain how society induces trust. He shows how trust works and fails in social settings, communities, organizations, countries, and the world.
In today's hyper-connected society, understanding the mechanisms of trust is as important as understanding electricity was a century ago. Issues of trust and security are critical to solving problems as diverse as corporate responsibility, global warming, and our moribund political system. After reading Liars and Outliers, you'll think about social problems, large and small, differently.
I'm not sure it's entirely on point, but ever since my mother was almost murdered by medical malpractice, and then learning about exactly how bad (frequent and severe) medical malpractice is, it's extremely hard for me to not see it this way.
Somewhere close to 300,000 people die a year from medical malpractice, give or take ~50k! Even adjusting for the elderly and comorbidities the number is still huge. I don't know why I never did, but it keep thinking I need to go buy and read Bruce Schneiers book about outliers... it seems crazy how much we ignore much more concrete and repeated issues that cause death and love to focus on outliers that will probably never happen to us.
People don't want to internalize the reality that society relies on an overwhelming amount of trust and there will always be abuses of trust. There are thousands and thousands of systems to prevent abuses of trust, and establish trustworthy institutions in society, but they all come at a cost, and are all fallible.