Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to by Bruce Schneier

By Bruce Schneier

In today's hyper-connected society, realizing the mechanisms of belief is important. problems with belief are serious to fixing difficulties as assorted as company accountability, international warming, and the political procedure. during this insightful and enjoyable ebook, Schneier weaves jointly rules from around the social and organic sciences to give an explanation for how society induces belief. He indicates the original position of belief in facilitating and stabilizing human society. He discusses why and the way belief has developed, why it really works how it does, and the methods the knowledge society is altering everything.


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The value of DNA recombination, which is what you get in sexual reproduction, is that it continuously rearranges a species’ defenses so parasites can’t get the upper hand. For this reason, a member of a species that reproduces sexually is much more likely to survive than a species that clones itself asexually—even though such a species will pass twice as many of its genes to its offspring as a sexually reproducing species would. Life evolved two other methods of defending itself against parasites.

Humans specialize too, and—even better—we can adapt our specialization to the situation. 2 Division of labor is an exercise in trust. A gardener leafcutter ant has to trust that the forager leafcutter ants will bring leaf fragments back to the nest. I, specializing right now in book writing, have to trust that my publisher is going to print this book and bookstores are going to sell it. And that someone is going to grow food that I can buy with my royalty check. If I couldn’t trust literally millions of nameless, faceless other people, I couldn’t specialize.

Being altruistic towards you now is a good strategy be• • • cause you’ll be altruistic towards me later. Indirect reciprocity. 26 Network reciprocity. Being altruistic towards you now is a good strategy because we are both in a group whose members are altruistic to each other, and being part of that group means that someone else will be altruistic towards me later. Group selection. 27 What methods work depend on how much it costs for one individual to help another, how beneficial the help is, and how likely it is that helpful individuals meet and recognize each other in the future.

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