Kindle Book 44. Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive by Bruce Schneier.
I'll confess, I didn't finish this. I was very overexcited at the beginning, I thought it'd have all sorts of useful answers for our work on identity, reputation and trust. It undoubtedly does. But it did seem to get a bit repetitive. Good and helpful though.
“Whatever matters to human beings, trust is the atmosphere in which it thrives.”
"Branding is yet another way to make reputation scale, similar to group membership. In many cases, we interact with organizations as groups rather than as individuals. That is, the corporate reputation of McDonald's is more important to our decision about whether or not to trust it than the individual reputation of any of the stores or the individual employees."
"Branding isn't necessarily about quality; it's about sameness. Chain restaurants don't necessarily promise the best food, they promise consistency in all of their restaurants. So when you sit down at McDonald's or a Cheesecake Factory, you know what you're going to get and how much you're going to pay for it. Their reputation reduces uncertainty."
"A final way to make reputation scale is to systemize it, so that instead of having to trust a person or company, we can trust the system. A professional police force and judiciary means that you don't have to trust individual policemen, you can trust the criminal justice system. A credit bureau means that lenders don't have to decide whether or not to trust individual borrowers, they can trust the credit rating system. A credit card relieves merchants from having to figure out whether a particular customer is able to pay later; the system does that work for them. Dunbar's number tells us there is a limit to the number of individuals we can know well enough to decide whether or not to trust; a single trust decision about a system can serve as a proxy for millions of individual trust decisions. We have a lot of experience with this kind of thing online: ratings of sellers on eBay, reviews of restaurants on sites like Yelp, reviews of contractors on sites like Angie's List, reviews of doctors, accountants, travel agencies…pretty much everything you can think of. Social networking sites systemize reputation, showing us whom we might want to trust because we have friends in common. This is an enormous development in societal pressure, one that has allowed society to scale globally. It used to be that companies could ignore the complaints of a smallish portion of their customers, because their advertising outweighed the word-of-mouth reputational harm. But on the Internet, this isn't necessarily true. A small complaint that goes viral can have an enormous effect on a company's reputation. On the other hand, while these reputational systems have been an enormous success, they have brought with them a new type of trust failure. Because potential defectors can now attack the reputational systems, they have to be secured."