2 December 2012

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A review of Liars and Outliers by Bruce Schneier
http://www.schneier.com/book-lo.html

Bruce Schneier is an accomplished author and security expert. In my line of work, information security, I've studied his books before and I read his writing almost daily as his opinion is of great value and often quite interesting. If you've already read one of his books or if you already know what security is(something about keeping DAD away from your CIA) you should have already read Liars and Outliers (if not go buy a copy) and may not get as much out of this review.

As a much lauded and often quoted security expert, accomplished cryptographer, and prolific writer about security technology and politics Bruce Schneier has well established standing to ask questions like: "What is security? What is trust? How do they work? Where did they come from?". He, like many of us, has been searching for good answers to these questions for many years and many people already use his previous answers to these questions in the work and life. From his standing at the top of the field and his success in influencing how everyone thinks about security and trust issues in society (he coined the term "security theater") he not only gets to seriously consider these questions but is likely to come up with new well thought out answers that will influence the world.

This is not a book on how security technology works internally. Instead the author explores how morals, social and societal pressures, security, and others factors influence and shape who and what we trust, for what, and even a bit of why.

As such the audience is much broader than some of his earlier works. This book will provide valuable insight and entertainment to the general science layman who has enjoyed works by Gleick, Singh, Gladwell, or other popular science authors and it should not be missed. It provides and provokes questions and answers key to human existence and help you understand why you do what you do personally, socially, and politically.

Read more... )

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