A Status Report: "Liars and Outliers"

It's been a long hard year, but the book is almost finished. It's certainly the most difficult book I've ever written, mostly because I've had to learn academic fields I don't have a lot of experience in. But the book is finally coming together as a coherent whole, and I am optimistic that the results will prove to be worth the effort.

Table of contents:

1. Introduction
2. A Natural History of Security
3. The Evolution of Cooperation
4. A Social History of Security
5. Societal Dilemmas
6. Societal Security
7. Moral Societal Security
8. Reputational Societal Security
9. Institutional Societal Security
10. Technological Societal Security
11. Competing Interest
12. Organizations and Societal Dilemmas
13. Corporations and Societal Dilemmas
14. Institutions and Societal Dilemmas
15. Understanding Societal Security Failures
16. Societal Security and the Information Age
17. The Future of Societal Security

The old title, "The Dishonest Minority," has been completely expunged from the book. The phrase appears nowhere in the text -- it's only existence is in old blog posts about the book.

Lastly, I want to apologize to all my readers for the scant pickings on my blog and in Crypto-Gram. So much of my attention is going into writing my book that I don't have time for much else. I promise to write more essays and blog posts once the book is finished. That's likely to be the December issue of Crypto-Gram. Thank you for your patience.

The manuscript is due in 45 days; publication is still scheduled for mid February. Right now it's 88,000 words long, with another 30,000 words in notes and references.

Posted on September 15, 2011 at 6:52 AM • 40 Comments

Comments

DavidSeptember 15, 2011 7:48 AM

@ Poster of Brucedom Currently Being Tracked by Bruce

I'm confused, you say "start immediately on another?" Are you referring to another book or another world?

mcbSeptember 15, 2011 8:01 AM

"Lastly, I want to apologize to all my readers for the scant pickings on my blg and in Crypto-Gram. So much of my attention is going into writing my book that I don't have time for much else. I promise to write more essays and blog posts once the book is finished. That's likely to be the December issue of Crypto-Gram. Thank you for your patience."

Thanks, but no apologies are necessary; I always figured you had a day job. Looking forward to your copiously noted tome.

jacobSeptember 15, 2011 8:21 AM

Sound good Bruce. I am looking forward to reading it. I read your books many times. My copy of crytography is falling apart, dogeared, and highlighted with colours like fantasia...LOL

WayneSeptember 15, 2011 8:24 AM

Bruce,

Congrats! I am looking forward to buying a copy asap! Will it be available on the Kindle first day? I hope so! A few months ago I bought your "Beyond Fear" on Kindle and read it cover to cover. I can't remember the last time I read a book cover to cover.

JurgenSeptember 15, 2011 8:49 AM

@David
Is that a new Brucism?

Bruce Schneier doesn't make the world more secure, bruce schneier redesigns worlds to be secure by default.

AppSecSeptember 15, 2011 9:02 AM

I'm actually hoping to see a blog post about the top things that you learned while writing the book.

Congrats and I look forward to reading it.

Z.LozinskiSeptember 15, 2011 9:29 AM

That's good news. I think we all understand the level of effort involved in the writing, so don't feel guilty about having less time for blogging.

Amazon.co.uk is accepting orders now, and promising delivery on 3rd Feb 2012 (no pressure!)

Nick PSeptember 15, 2011 12:03 PM

@ Bruce

N/p on the blog posts. We all figured between work and a book you were too busy. I agree with AppSec though that you should write a blog post on the best insights you had while writing the book. Maybe just the most important or shocking revelations.

Nick PSeptember 15, 2011 12:09 PM

@ Petrea Mitchell

"What?? Amazon.com says the US doesn't get it until February 21, 2012."

We get the book on understanding society's problems, then the world is destroyed a few months later by mythical planets and solar storms. It just... isn't... fair...

Haha. Kidding aside, Bruce's book will be available on the filesharing sites, esp Usenet, shortly after publication in *any* country. Just download it, enjoy it, discuss it on the blog & buy a legit copy soon as it comes to the states. I can't speak for Bruce, but I doubt he would mind. Although, his publisher might be ideologically opposed to the concept. They don't have to know though. ;)

KenSeptember 15, 2011 1:28 PM

A mild suggestion: Since you're learning & publishing in areas you don't have a lot of experience in, please get a few external reviewers from these fields to critique the completed manuscript. It's very easy to make mistakes here, even with an impressive 30K in notes & references. Best of luck. Looking forward to reading it. Ken

AlistairSeptember 15, 2011 2:44 PM

I am looking forward to the book, and I will buy it (and read it) but please try to move those notes into the text - I feel cheated when a book ends with 25% left. If most of those notes are footnotes, then forget I said anything!

Joe ClarkSeptember 15, 2011 3:07 PM

I have concerns about typography, proofreading, and book design, all of which suck in the present day even though the tools are better than at any time in human history.

Petréa MitchellSeptember 15, 2011 3:47 PM

Nick P.:

I'll probably just go for the simpler solution: ordering the UK edition. Old-fashioned, sure, but it does have the advantages of being legal and sending an appropriate market signal to the US publisher.

I second the comments about the diminished posting, incidentally... I'm sure the book will more than make up for it. :-)

AntonSeptember 15, 2011 4:04 PM

Bruce

I've always thought there was enough stuff in this blog to create a dozen books.

Even your one line blogs are exciting because of the high quality of many of the comments.

It's good though to get your views and analysis arranged in a coherent form and I look forward to reading the book.

Peter E RetepSeptember 15, 2011 9:15 PM

Do pre-orders count toward selling rank?
Do you think that it's a correct practice?

David HarperSeptember 16, 2011 1:34 AM

Amazon in the U.K. says the publication date is 2 February 2012. I've just pre-ordered my copy, and I'm greatly looking forward to reading it.

mithrandirSeptember 16, 2011 2:50 AM

You have brought both thought and discussion while in the midst of writing a book..I always start my day reading your blog. Your insight and many of the regulars who post comments here have made my day many times.

Anonyoumous SnarkSeptember 16, 2011 7:02 AM

" please try to move those notes into the text "

Please don't leave the notes in the endscap. I get annoyed at reading a line of prose just to have the rest of the page notes and citations.

Z. LozinskiSeptember 16, 2011 7:44 AM

@Petréa Mitchell

Amazon.co.uk is accepting pre-prders for delivery Feb 2012. The advantage or pre-order is that it fixes the price now.

Bruce SchneierSeptember 16, 2011 10:50 AM

"Will it be available on the Kindle first day?"

Yes. The print and electronic editions will be published at the same time.

Bruce SchneierSeptember 16, 2011 10:51 AM

"I'm actually hoping to see a blog post about the top things that you learned while writing the book."

That's an interesting idea. Maybe in December.

Bruce SchneierSeptember 16, 2011 10:53 AM

"Definitely looking forward to getting to that last chapter."

Me, too. It's what I'm working on right now.

Bruce SchneierSeptember 16, 2011 10:58 AM

"Haha. Kidding aside, Bruce's book will be available on the filesharing sites, esp Usenet, shortly after publication in *any* country. Just download it, enjoy it, discuss it on the blog & buy a legit copy soon as it comes to the states. I can't speak for Bruce, but I doubt he would mind. Although, his publisher might be ideologically opposed to the concept."

The U.S. will get the book at the same time everyone else will; it's a world release date.

And yes, it'll be available on file sharing sites. I don't care all that much. It'll increase my readership and I don't think it will decrease revenue. Just don't expect me to post links of where to get free copies. And I know Wiley will send lawyer letters to people hosting free copies -- if they can.

Bruce SchneierSeptember 16, 2011 11:01 AM

"Since you're learning & publishing in areas you don't have a lot of experience in, please get a few external reviewers from these fields to critique the completed manuscript. It's very easy to make mistakes here, even with an impressive 30K in notes & references."

I am getting lots of external readers. They're proving to be very helpful.

Bruce SchneierSeptember 16, 2011 11:05 AM

"I am looking forward to the book, and I will buy it (and read it) but please try to move those notes into the text - I feel cheated when a book ends with 25% left. If most of those notes are footnotes, then forget I said anything!"

I just finished a book on my Kindle that ended with 45% left: notes and references.

I'm not going to move the notes into the text. They're not in the text precisely because they're notes: more detail, asides, peripheral information, etc. Putting it in the main text would make the book ponderous and more boring. And while I like the extended edition of LoTR, most moviegoers preferred the shorter version.

Bruce SchneierSeptember 16, 2011 11:07 AM

"Please don't leave the notes in the endscap. I get annoyed at reading a line of prose just to have the rest of the page notes and citations."

The notes will be at the end of the book. Superscript numbers will indicate notes. References will be done with trailer cues; no indication in the text.

I have 600+ notes/references; anything else would be too distracting.

Pat CahalanSeptember 16, 2011 6:39 PM

Are you going to pull a John Green and promise to sign all preorders? (don't)

I need a couple more books signed by The Schneier for the collection.

EliSeptember 17, 2011 9:08 AM

And while I like the extended edition of LoTR, most moviegoers preferred the shorter version.

"Extended edition"? There was that nice preview of the movie in the theaters, then the real movie came out on DVD. ;)

JurSeptember 20, 2011 3:57 AM

My goodness, what boring chapter titles!


12. Organizations and Societal Dilemmas
13. Corporations and Societal Dilemmas
14. Institutions and Societal Dilemmas

This will scare away readers

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