Skin in the Game:Some mind-blowing quotes from N N Taleb’s new book

Raghvendra Pandey
Mar 18, 2018 · 2 min read

Finally finished reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s new book ‘Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life.’This book is all about responsibility,virtue,courage and risk taking.In this book N N Taleb gives insight about some of the basic things about our daily life.This book is highly original especially I loved the portion related to ‘Minority rule’.Some pearls of wisdom from the book.
1.”What we generally call participation in the political process, he calls by two distinct designations: “democracy” when it fits the IYI, and “populism” when plebeians dare to vote in a way that contradicts IYI preferences.”(IYI stands for Intellectual yet Idiot)
2.”you never cure structural defects; the system corrects itself by collapsing. “
3.”True intellect should not appear to be intellectual.”
4.”To make ethical choices you cannot have dilemmas between the particular (friends, family) and the general.”
5.”“religions” are not quite religions: some are philosophies, others are just legal systems.”
6.”Different people rarely mean the same thing by religion. Nor do they realise it. For early Jews & Muslims, religion was law. ‘Deen’ is law in Hebrew, religion in Arabic.
7.”What we saw worldwide from 2014 to 2018, from India to the UK to the US, was a rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking clerks & journalist insiders, that class of paternalistic semi intellectual ‘experts’ who were telling the rest of us what to do”
8.”An intolerant minority can control & destroy democracy. Actually, it will eventually destroy our world. We need to be intolerant w/some intolerant minorities (& not) use American values or western principles in treating Salafism which denies other people to have their own religion”(Taleb’s minority rule)
9.”My heuristic is that the more pagan, the more brilliant 1’s mind & higher the ability to handle nuances & ambiguity. Purely monotheistic religions, Protestant Christianity, Salafi Islam or fundamentalist atheism accommodate literalist & mediocre minds that cant handle ambiguity”
10.”True equality is equality in probability.”
11.”It is much more immoral to claim virtue without fully living with its direct consequences.”
12.”It is immoral to be in opposition to the market system and not live (somewhere in Vermont or Northwestern Afghanistan) in a hut or cave isolated from it.”
13.”If your private actions do not generalize, then you cannot have general ideas.”
14.”If your private life conflicts with your intellectual opinion, it cancels your intellectual ideas, not your private life.”
15.”Courage is the only virtue you cannot fake.”

This book can be bought here.

Raghvendra Pandey

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Interested In Poetry, Politics, History, Religion, Philosophy, Statistics and Data Science.

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