ePUB Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life – Z55z.co

THE TOP TEN BESTSELLER From the bestselling author of The Black Swan, a bold book that challenges many of our long held beliefs about risk and reward, politics and religion, finance and personal responsibilityWhy should we never listen to people who explain rather than do Why do companies go bust How is it that we have slaves today than in Roman times Why does imposing democracy on other countries never work The answer too many people running the world don t have skin in the game In his inimitable, pugnacious style, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows that skin in the game applies to all aspects of our lives It s about having something to lose and taking a risk Citizens, lab experimenters, artisans, political activists and hedge fund traders all have skin in the game Policy wonks, corporate executives, theoreticians, bankers and most journalists don tAs 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 The first 20% of this book is interesting and insightful Justice comes from symmetrical encounters, not imbalances of power And ensuring equality of any encounter means that both parties must have skin in the game , i.e a personal investment in it Bureaucratic structures undermine ethics therefore But very quickly you suspect that the author has been put up to this by a greedy publisher anxious for a quick cash grab The remaining 80% adds little to the thesis sketched out at the start and, to some extent distracts from it There are quite a few unsupported and prejudiced irrational rants against tenured academics, clinical psychologists and Saudi Arabia The book is pompously divided into Books even though some of the chapters are very short The book is also itself quite asymmetrical and therefore undermines the author s argument in two ways First, the author takes every opportunity to reference his own previous works, as though this one is part of some Grand Theory If you haven t read these you think you re at a disadvantage Second is the bizarre Technical Appendix which seems to be included simply to show off the author s reputed mathematical acumen No one reading this book would need these arcane formulae, and specialists who do understand them Probabilistic Sustainability etc would find them in Taleb s technical academic papers So this final section, like the last 80% of the book, seems to have been included just to make up the word count Constantly trying to impress the reader with his learning, Taleb must be a very tiresome dinner party guest indeed GCB I was really looking forward to this as a fan of Fooled by Randomness but half way through I m beginning to think NNT is a pompous ass and a bore to boot At the age of 70, I wonder if the time left to me is best served by ducking out of the rest of this waffle or to soldier on in search of nuggets of wisdom.UPDATE I did carry on to the end of the book for old times sake I left it feeling that Taleb is like a friend who has some dodgy politics, likes to make a lot 0f controversial remarks, occasionally makes some insightful points, can be amusing and can also be a crashing bore In other words, you re pleased to see your old friend but rather relieved when he finally leaves and glad to have a bit of time away from each other before meeting up again. This book is a far easier read than the author s previous writings Which is good because the deep seated intellectual insecurity to which Mr Taleb confessed and committed himself to protecting and cultivating in the preface to Fooled by Randomness 2001 appears sadly to have got the better of him.Some 1,150 days of seclusion in the years following The Black Swan 2007 afforded time not only to devour the 550 or so books listed in the bibliography to the much lengthier Antifragile 2012 but also to develop what he himself previously detested the random use of borrowed wisdom though it was fascinating to read why use of the wheel initially disappeared from the Levant after the Arab invasion and to wield his keyboard repeatedly and unkindly to hammer perceived nails in the shape of some fine fellow professionals with whom he now finds himself increasingly and violently disagreeing.In Skin in the Game we see these aberrations taken even further with surprisingly gratuitous and sarcastic references Hillary Monsanto Malmaison, sometimes known as Hillary Clinton and Joseph Stiglitz as Intellectual Yet Idiot along with random Daily Mail type stories about how increased halal lamb imports from New Zealand and the numbers of automatic shifting vehicles are instances of minority dictatorship and how Italians regard McDonalds in Milan Centrale as refuge from a risky meal Mr Taleb has of course written that it s only when you don t care about your reputation that you tend to have a good one, but it seems to me that after accumulating a steady stream of positive returns he has given us his own unfortunate, highly unexpected event.