Reviews

Skin in the Game: The Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

the_schaef's review against another edition

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4.0

This is certainly a book that made me think and ask questions that challenged the status quo. While clearly at time the author was pointing a finger at me, and often in an insulting manner, he does make a very strong case for the benefit that accrues to society at large when individuals have an equal share of personal downside for risks that one incurs either for oneself or on behalf of others. This clearly makes one want want to take a more proactive perspective on our personal risk profile and to understand the probabilities of tail risk in our choices.

daniel_nunes's review against another edition

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challenging informative reflective slow-paced

3.75

rsr143's review against another edition

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3.0

This is a good book, but I much preferred anti-fragile. The central theme of the book is as the title suggests, that without skin in the game it’s very hard to come up with theories that apply accurately to how life works. Those who have something at stake or at risk are much better at determining how things work. On the other hand, those who are simply theoretical tend to over complicate things and often get fundamentals very wrong.

The authors style is bombastic, which is quite entertaining. However there are many parts to this book that I just didn’t understand. The manner in which Taleb writes can be confusing, in a way that I don’t think adds to the overall impact of the book. The central theme of the book is worthy of a solid 5 star rating but the opaqueness of the writing brings my review down to a 3.

surfshack_tito's review

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informative slow-paced

5.0

Read it, live it, love it.  Like his other books, the lessons are applicable to every domain. 

clharman's review

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3.0

Taleb gets a lil carried away

mlannie's review

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informative

3.0

I liked the spiciness but obv not very gripping if it took me like 4 months to finish. So pedantic but liked him calling people out (like Thaler)

stag1e's review

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informative lighthearted fast-paced

3.0

rasha_reads's review against another edition

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challenging informative reflective slow-paced

3.75

tomstbr's review against another edition

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5.0

There's a lot to love about Taleb. Apart from the fact that he makes you think outside the box, he has a certain way with words. He's very blunt. For example:

'Some think that freeing ourselves from having warriors at the top means civilization and progress. It does not.'

And as a result he can express his ideas succinctly:

'Avoid taking advice from someone who gives advice for a living, unless there is a penalty for their advice.'

This is not a book of graphs or statistics, but it is a book about what those things should mean and how, exactly, we should try to interpret them. He's very entertaining to read, with endless anecdotes and examples to back up his claims. He starts the book outlining exactly what he is going to discuss in each chapter (priming your brain) and then goes into the details in each of those chapters. His conclusion is short and to the point, and for everyone who thinks he's a rude bastard, he even manages to thank the reader. The book is basically telling you to be able to back up what you say, to put yourself out there, and consider the risks before assuming that everything is fine. There are many great ideas to learn in here, and of course I would recommend reading the entire Incerto series.

One final thing: if all you take from Jordan Peterson is to stand up straight with your shoulders back, then the one thing you should take from Taleb is to deadlift.

jdavisdev's review

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challenging reflective medium-paced

3.0