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Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb: Points and an Excerpt

With Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life Nassim Nicholas Taleb continues with his insights into the modern world begun, after 9/11, with his book, The Black Swan. Some central points in this book include —

• For social justice, focus on symmetry and risk sharing. You cannot make profits and transfer the risks to others, as bankers and large corporations do. You cannot get rich without owning your own risk and paying for your own losses. Forcing skin in the game corrects this asymmetry better than thousands of laws and regulations.
• Ethical rules aren’t universal. You’re part of a group larger than you, but it’s still smaller than humanity in general.
• Minorities, not majorities, run the world. The world is not run by consensus but by stubborn minorities imposing their tastes and ethics on others.
• You can be an intellectual yet still be an idiot. “Educated philistines” have been wrong on everything from Stalinism to Iraq to low-carb diets.
• Beware of complicated solutions (that someone was paid to find). A simple barbell can build muscle better than expensive new machines.
• True religion is commitment, not just faith. How much you believe in something is manifested only by what you’re willing to risk for it.

Here’s a few salient passages from the beginning:

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  • el baboso March 11, 2018, 12:47 PM


  • Eskyman March 11, 2018, 1:17 PM

    A very wise fellow. He’ll never be elected to high office, and has far too much sense ever to run.

  • Howard Nelson March 11, 2018, 7:32 PM

    No point alerting the authorities; just hope they focus on subverting each other — and as for us, that they do not foc us more than they’re doing now.
    Diogenes is still searching. Drain the swamp and sewer and feed the mosquitoes and rats to the political parasites.