Monday, 14 May 2012

Liars & Outliers Book review

In  2010 I attended a conference on Security and Human Behaviour at the University of Cambridge (, where academics explored ways of helping people operate more safely in an increasingly uncertain world, and spoke about the resilience of crowd behaviour in mass  emergencies. After that I offerred to proof read a draft of a book by one of the organisers, and he very kindly sent me a copy, so I thought it only fair to give it a quick plug;

Bruce Schneier's new book 'Liars and Outliers' is a very readable book that looks at how society depends upon trust to operate, and that things would quickly grind to a halt if people did not place trust in each other for a multitude of vital social functions. It is grounded in sound theoretical perspectives, drawing upon well established psychological explanations for human behaviour, such as social dilemmas, where immediate individual interest may not always be for the greater collective good. It's helpfully peppered with tables that illustrate the issues involved in such social dilemmas, and supported by a variety of evidence from economic, technological, and psychological approaches- well worth a read.

Published by John Wiley and Sons and details of how to get copies are on his web-site;

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