Survival of the Skin-est
By Amy Willis
1. In describing what he means by “skin in the game,” Taleb states, “Survival is what matters first. What does he mean by this? How does this compare to the economist’s notion of incentives?2. In what sense is religion rational, according to Taleb? (And, as Roberts asks, what’s the point in keeping kosher?)
3. Taleb argues, “We live in a world that is very easy to capture by doing but not easy to capture by thinking.” What does he mean by that? How, according to Taleb, does this explain the appeal of Donald Trump?
4. How is the welfare state illustrative of society’s tendency to move away from skin in the game? What sort of system do you think Taleb would suggest in its place, and why?
5. In their discussion of inequality, Roberts expresses his concern that there are “some challenges…in the American system today that make it harder for people to be upwardly mobile that I think are bad.” What are some of the things Roberts is concerned about, and how justified are his concerns? What might you add to his list, and why?