Skin in the Game: The Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life

Skin in the Game: The Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life Review

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Black Swan, a bold new work that challenges many of our long-held beliefs about risk and reward, politics and religion, finance and personal responsibility

In his most provocative and practical book yet, one of the foremost thinkers of our time redefines what it means to understand the world, succeed in a profession, contribute to a fair and just society, detect nonsense, and influence others. Citing examples ranging from Hammurabi to Seneca, Antaeus the Giant to Donald Trump, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows how the willingness to accept one’s own risks is an essential attribute of heroes, saints, and flourishing people in all walks of life.

As always both accessible and iconoclastic, Taleb challenges long-held beliefs about the values of those who spearhead military interventions, make financial investments, and propagate religious faiths. Among his insights:

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.

The phrase “skin in the game” is one we have often heard but rarely stopped to truly dissect. It is the backbone of risk management, but it’s also an astonishingly rich worldview that, as Taleb shows in this book, applies to all aspects of our lives. As Taleb says, “The symmetry of skin in the game is a simple rule that’s necessary for fairness and justice, and the ultimate BS-buster,” and “Never trust anyone who doesn’t have skin in the game. Without it, fools and crooks will benefit, and their mistakes will never come back to haunt them.”

Title:Skin in the Game: The Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Ryan Boissonneault

    Skin in the Game is at the same time thought-provoking and original but also contradictory and sometimes absurd. Let’s start with the cons:1. I certainly won’t be the first to notice that Taleb ca...

  • Philippe

    Taleb’s ‘Skin in the Game’ has been put together in a somewhat disorderly way, but the reasoning goes as follows:1. The world in which we live is complex and eludes our sense-making faculties.2....

  • Nilesh

    SITG is an angry rant. It lacks structure. The core message - mainly because of the author’s often misplaced and wrong arguments against his self-created adversaries - is never examined beyond the t...

  • ScienceOfSuccess

    Another great book from Nassim! If you have 3minutes, check my animated summary of this one ;) Animated Book Review...

  • Magnus Ahmad

    Pop-science in it's lowest form. Book reads like a poorly researched, hastily written college essay. Strings together a few nuggets of common sense wisdom with sizeable amounts of unreferenced BS. Tal...

  • Satyajeet

    Cherry-picking meets ignorance of human nature meets naive interpretation of history meets erroneous assumptions.If you cherry-pick the data, you can make ANY ridiculous hypothesis sound convincing.Un...

  • Ivank

    In this book #4, Taleb is more arrogant and pretentious than ever. You can never let go of the feeling that this book is about him, rather than any other topic. He's become profoundly obnoxious and ne...

  • Ill D

    Taleb's the hero....

  • Gints Dreimanis

    Hey, another one who doesn't give a fuck. NNT is a bit of a diva, and it is obvious that he has some beef with a lot of people. He certainly sounds right. But is he? I don't know. The book revolves ar...

  • Jeffrey

    Five stars only because six weren't available....