Skin in the Game

Skin in the Game

Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life

Book - 2018
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The phrase "skin in the game" is one we have often heard but have rarely stopped to truly dissect. It is the backbone of risk management, but it's also an astonishingly complex worldview that applies to all aspects of our lives. Nassim Nicholas Taleb pulls on everything from Antaeus the Giant to Hammurabi to Donald Trump to Seneca to the ethics of disagreement to create a tapestry for understanding our world in a brand new way. Among his insights: For social justice, focus on symmetry and risk sharing -- Ethical rules aren't universal -- Minorities, not majorities, run the world -- You can be an intellectual yet still be an idiot -- Beware of complicated solutions (that someone was paid to find) -- True religion is commitment, not just faith.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: 2018
ISBN: 9780425284629
Characteristics: xv, 279 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Aug 23, 2018

Terrible book. The author just come across as arrogant and thinks he is smarter than anyone else.

Aug 11, 2018

the disparaging of others is an unfortunate distraction

Aug 05, 2018

Taleb has gone from innovative idea-man to arrogant so-and-so. He seems to think he is the only smart guy in the room. He has many axes to grind and seems incapable to discuss opinions, resorting to name-calling instead. Don't waste your time.

May 25, 2018

I read the Black Swan then Antifragile and waited to read this one. The idea of skin in the game appeared in Antifragile but in this book I feel like after watching the sequel of a successful movie. I don't understand why he is attacking some people without bothering to provide solid arguments (for instance Steven Pinker is attacked because his research is flawed but Nassim's explanation is, at best stupid, like war victims tend to be over reported, even in present day which actually does have no influence over the trend). Also he advises not to listen to experts and just follow older traditions and superstitions even if we don't understand why. Well, it's true that challenging them may reveal that some of them actually make sense but one has to be blind not to see the fact that today we're healthier, live longer precisely because we took the chance not to follow grandma's advice. Yes, we made mistakes but that's part of learning.
On the other hand, the reader can learn interesting facts like the intolerant minority rule.

May 06, 2018

I'm not sure why I felt compelled to stick with this book. Taleb is confrontational and writes with a huge chip on his shoulder. He constantly insults the people I admire the most, such as journalists at the New York Times or the New Yorker. He would likely think I was a IYI (Intellectual Yet Idiot). In fact, at one point, he basically said he cared nothing for readers who read the latest books as popularized by the NYT, which is basically what I do (and maybe that's where I heard about "Skin in the Game").

So, I was compelled to read a book by an author who cares nothing for me. Nice! (Or should I say, "Sad!")

I guess it's refreshing to step outside the bubble and get a different perspective. And many of his ideas make sense. Although most of them seem beyond me... which makes me feel like the idiot he says I am!

Mar 24, 2018

This book is not for the cowards, i.e. the politically correct, financial advisers who do not share the risk, bureaucrats, politicians. “The curse of modernity is that we are increasingly populated by a class of people who are better at explaining than understanding” or even "better explaining than doing". Those whom the author call IYI (intellectuals yet idiots), the seemingly knowledgable people but who have no skin in the game.

Taleb is a western intellect, however he has the wisdom of the East. Thus he is capable of seeing the world as it is and not to fool himself like many of the contemporary thinkers in the west. Remember, those who talk should do, and only those who do, should talk!

Read this book if you dare- "courage is the only virtue you cannot fake". It will make you understand, among so many practicalities in current life, why being soft to the demands of Islamism can and will destroy the World. Read to understand how "scientism" can fool you to replace an age-old tested process with a fake thing based on a peer-reviewed article that may not survive replication.

Taleb is certainly not a conformist. Reading him is a pleasure in a World getting rotten by the prominence of the likes of Hillary!


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