Skin in the Game (book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb)

A must-read.  This’ll be the closest I will get to a mantra in my life. When I read the book, it became clear why I always just didn’t like following a lot of traditions and a lot of “things”. Just generally. It wasn’t because I was just a rebel, no. I’m more conservative in a lot of ways than most people. I still strongly believe in family, even in what the Roman Catholic church stand for, and why it fails in a lot of way, but I’d defend it, even democracy and all it’s pitfalls.

In 3 nutshells, these are my favourite quips from the book.

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

You do not want to win an argument. You want to win.

If your private life conflicts with your intellectual opinion, it cancels your intellectual ideas, not your private life.

The writer ends with this. These will only make sense once you’ve read the whole book. Again, like skin in the game, you have to be a complete and active participant first.

No muscles without strength,

friendship without trust,

opinion without consequence,

change without aesthetics,

she without values,

life without effort,

water without thirst,

food without nourishment,

love without sacrifice,

power without fairness,

facts without rigour,

statistics without logic,

mathematics without proof,

teaching without experience,

politeness without warmth,

values without embodiment,

degrees without erudition,

militarism without fortitude,

progress without civilisation,

friendship without investment,

virtue without risk,

probability without ergodicity,

wealth without exposure,

complication without depth,

fluency without content,

decision without asymmetry,

science without skepticism,

religion without tolerance,

and most of all:

nothing without skin in the game.

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