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  • Skin in the Game

  • Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
  • Written by: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Narrated by: Joe Ochman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (303 ratings)

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Skin in the Game

Written by: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Narrated by: Joe Ochman
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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best seller

A bold work from the author of The Black Swan 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 asymmetrically 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 have 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." 

©2018 Nassim Nicholas Taleb (P)2018 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Skin in the Game

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Extraordinary

This book is just awesome!
Every word is out of pure experience.
Nassim Taleb is the best.


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3 people found this helpful

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heavy metal psycho, stats, probability hidden

great narrative, for the psychology, statistics, probability, risk management buffs, quite technical at many places. I will need another pass at it to get the grip.. but loved it.

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Thoroughly enjoyed every facets covered!

Believe it is not a glance & forget kinda book. Needs re-reading to assimilate & progress further...

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Disappointed

My first NNT book. I was disappointed. Author comes across as narcissistic. There are innumerable references to his own books throughout the narrative. The name of this book itself is mentioned a zillion times. There seems to be a conscious attempt to go against the grain, rubbish the norms and the author comes across as being extremely judgemental and opinionated. Economists, noble laureates, academicians are all ridiculed to some extent. I don't know if I'll go back to another NNT book.

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1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Difficult text to understand

Using of so many difficult phrases makes you feel lost while listening. perhaps simplyfing the text will make it more understandable and enjoyable.

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Powerful arguement

having read black swan and fooled by randomness, i was expecting this to be a powerhouse as well.
highly recommended for anyone who wishes to understand responsibility and risk, while interested in decoding the in context realities.

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Nice

Different book

Intriguing and thought provoking

Some eye opener thoughts


Must read for intellectual beings

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Narration Style

I love the way Taleb puts it across, from statistics and probability standpoint, this book is an excellent approach to debunk some of the leftist ideology.

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Opens your mind to realities of the world

Great book, that feels like a commentary or a podcast, the book is really amazing with the ideas that it is trying to sell. The idea about having "skin in the game" is something that we all inherently aspire to have but I don't think it has been articulated this well every in any book. Although some people will definitely say that they did not like the book or the book was opinionated. But isn't every book an opinion of the author. And most of the time the author is just rewording the ideas in their own interpretation of it. So just enjoy the ranting of Taleb, It is entertaining. It is a great read if you ask me. It definitely gave me some good perspectives.

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All repetitive stuff. Extremely biased

Recommended by Naval Ravikanth, I purchased this audiobook. After listening to some chapters, I realized that the author has extremely biased opinions not substantiated with hard facts and fails to integrate other perspectives. I wasted my money. I tried to return but audible refused. Hence I canceled my membership. Merely a propaganda book. Pathetically poor.

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