【英語要約】身銭を切れ 「リスクを生きる」人だけが知っている人生の本質


Mr. Tareb, who is known as "Kyoto Giant" and "The World's Greatest Tetsujin" He is a philosopher who has announced global bestsellers such as "Black Swan" and "Anti-Vulnerability". The biggest theme the author deals with is "decision making under opacity".

In "Black Swan," the principle that something unexpected happens is considered, and in "Anti-fragility", the technique of adding uncertainty to an ally is mentioned. And in this book, indicators for living in an uncertain world are presented. That is the concept of "cutting off money." The original title is "Skin in the Game".

This book explains the importance of taking risks and committing yourself. Behind this is the increase in the number of people who are not at risk, given the modernization and complexity of society. The same is true in Japan. Companies are too enthusiastic about compliance and impose risks on subcontractors. "It's a person who is better at explaining than understanding," Tareb says.

The act of cutting money is related to human existence, such as fairness, honor, and sacrifice, Tareb said. And if this principle is adopted, it is possible to suppress a lot of discomfort and divergence that accompany civilization.

Taleb asserts in this book that "a person who does not take the risk has no value". This is a book that everyone living in modern society should read.

Main points of this book

Point 1

The concept of “cutting off money” has the meaning of “paying a corresponding penalty if something goes wrong”. Many people, such as scholars, experts, politicians, and bureaucrats, don't cut their money.

Point 2

The concept of cutting money is a matter of symmetry. If you don't change your money, risk asymmetry arises.

Point 3

Asymmetries such as agency problems and the principle of minority are hidden everywhere in our lives.

Point 4

To live is to take risks. An adventure cannot be called an adventure unless you change your money.

[Must-read point!] What is "cutting down money"?

The essence of cutting money

The concept of "cutting off money" is not just a monetary story. It has the implication that "if something goes wrong, you pay a reasonable penalty." In short, it's a matter of symmetry, not profit sharing. This concept can be applied to various phenomena that occur in the world and can be a hint to solve difficult problems.

In this book, the author criticizes those who do not pay money. For the author, the essence of the act of cutting money lies in things related to human existence, such as fairness, honor, and sacrifice.

Those who do not cut money

Knowledge is gained based on one's own experience and trial and error.

What is important here is that in the process of trial and error, the person in question is at risk, that is, she has lost money. Cutting money may have a negative effect, but you can learn from it and discover new things. The knowledge they gain is far superior to the knowledge gained through pure reasoning (which scholars tend to do).

Scholars are not the only ones who don't cut their money. Politicians and powers who dominate the world do not cut their money. For example, the United States has taken various steps under the cause of "eliminating a dictator." Such measures have resulted in many catastrophes, including the birth of terrorist organizations and wars.

Interferer and innocent people

The authors call "interferers" those who have a negative effect on something outside their category. And the deficiency of an interferor is that it captures things "in static rather than in motion", "in lower dimensions than in higher dimensions" and "in terms of actions rather than interactions". Without thinking about the secondary and tertiary effects of their actions, they make a fuss that they are "Black Swan" when something unexpected happens.

The problem with jammers is that they do not suffer any loss. Make decisions in a comfortable, air-conditioned office and don't suffer any damage if it's wrong. It is the Syrians, the Iraqis, and the innocent people who are paid the bill. The principle obtained from this is that "one who does not take risks should not be involved in decision making".

Meanwhile, the greats of the past were always at risk. Roman emperor Julian died at the forefront of the battle. The same is true of many other Roman emperors. They could be patrons and nobles of the people simply because they risk taking fame.

Agency problem

Ethics or law

There is the word agency problem. This is a conflict of interest between an agent and a client. Examples include automobile salesmen, car buyers, doctors and patients.

Let's look at the relationship between an investment bank salesman and a customer. Investment banking salespeople's job is to "disposal" the securities they are holding. Even if it doesn't benefit the customer, he recommends the product you want to let go, "it's right for your portfolio." Occasionally, we even give our customers fine wine. The customer who feels good gets on to the salesman's motto and invests.

The behavior of these salespeople may be ethically wrong, but it does not touch the law. Regarding this asymmetry, Stodian scholar Diogenes thought that sellers should disclose information to the extent that civil law dictates. Diogenes' disciple Antipatros, meanwhile, argued that all that the civil law didn't require was disclosed so that there was no information the seller knew and the buyer did not know.

Obviously, Antipater's position is more robust. Because the law changes over time, but ethics does not change with time, place, situation, and eye color. It should be noted that the opposite is not true.

Ethical scaling

It is natural that we should act based on ethics, but the scope cannot be extended infinitely. The more generalized the ethics, the more blurry the outline becomes and the more abstract it will eventually fail.

Historically, the scope of ethics is often limited. In ancient Greece, democracy was applied only to Athenian citizens, not to slaves or foreigners, and Jewish ethical principles distinguish between "dark blood" and "thin blood." Moreover, in the Theodosian Code, Roman citizens married to barbarians were deprived of their legal rights. The ethical principles were always limited and were differentiated between members of sports facilities and non-members.

Is it possible for humans to be ethical and universal? Unfortunately, the answer is no. If the club grows too big, it will gradually break apart, and there will be a dispute over the interests of the individual.

This difficulty of scale conversion from individual to general is the reason why authors have to doubt globalization and centralized multi-ethnic nations. The larger the size of "us", the harder it is to cut off money.

This is easy to understand given the difference between the behavior of "anonymous" groups in large cities and the behavior of people in small villages. People living in small villages, like a big family, help each other and care for their neighbors. On the other hand, it is impossible to get the same sense of solidarity in big cities.

"Minority principle" that produces asymmetry

Impact of uncompromising minority groups

The "minority principle" is the creator of all asymmetries. The majority principle respects the majority opinion, while the minority principle is the opposite. When the uncompromising minority group, who is discouraged in the form of courage, reaches a certain (very small) proportion of the whole, all are obliged to obey that group's preferences.

As an episode that symbolizes the principle of minority voting, I will introduce the story when the author participated in a barbecue party. There were several participants at the party who could only eat Kosher food, a clean food certified by Jews to eat. The host noticed them and made all their drinks Kosher certified. Even though the devout Jews were a few of the participants.

The uncompromising minority group here is "Jewish participants who eat only Kosher foods." The other participants were not Jewish, but they could only drink at the party certified by Kosher. This is because Jews can only eat kosher foods, but those who do not can eat kosher foods.

Spatial structure and cost structure

This principle applies to other areas as well. People with disabilities do not use normal toilets, but healthy people can use toilets for disabled people. People who are allergic to peanuts can only eat foods without peanuts, but those without it can also eat foods without peanuts.

Here, the spatial structure of the land affects the situation. If an uncompromising group lives in a certain district, the principle of minority rule does not hold. But what if the spatial distribution of the minority group was uniform? The majority will have to obey the principle of minority voting.

The cost structure also has a big meaning. In the barbecue party example above, preparing a drink that complies with the rules of Kosher does not change much. But what if the drinks certified by Kosher are expensive? The principle of minority voting should no longer hold.

Minority group that can move the whole society

Only a handful of uncompromising people are affecting those who are not, by cutting their money in the form of courage. This principle can be explained by an analytical method called "renormalization group".

Here are four boxes, each containing four small boxes. And those four boxes also contain four smaller boxes… and so on, all the way up and down until they reach a certain size. The box has two colors, gray means majority choice and black means minority choice.

Let's consider four small boxes as a family of four. Suppose that one daughter of a family of four does not eat any genetically modified food. At this time, the daughter's box is black and the other three are gray.

What will happen if my daughter is uncompromising? All food on the table at home will be non-genetically modified, and all four boxes will be black. (First renormalization).

Next, the family may have a barbecue party with the other three families. The other three families know that their daughters hate genetic modification, so all party meals will be non-genetically modified (second renormalization). As this renormalization continues, genetically modified foods will disappear from local supermarkets. This is how things scale up.

Of course, not everything is based on this principle. The minority principle is likely to come into existence on the proposition that the answer "0 or 1" "white or black" is clear. Asymmetric rules and soul-dedicated humans can move society as a whole by renormalization.

Living takes risks

Why poor politicians are chosen

In the play of the movie "Matrix", a machine that allows you to simulate various experiences in your head by inserting a cable into your brain will appear. It may be a very real experience, but what I "experienced" through a machine is, after all, just an event in my mind.

In that respect, the raw experience is very different from the simulated experience in my head. Life is about taking risks, and adventure cannot be called adventure unless you pay a certain amount of money (unless you cut your money).

In fact, Donald Trump can be called a president by taking risks. The general public, who takes risks on a regular basis, vote for the failed real people rather than the politicians who look perfect. Spots, scars, and personal flaws are a signal that you're losing money.

Recommendation of reading

This book is physically and contently heavy. The theme is magnificent, as there are many considerations that could not be introduced this time. To be honest, there are some difficult parts, but there is no doubt that the knowledge obtained from them is certain. It is a masterpiece full of Mr. Tareb's blood and flesh and can be recommended to all people living today. The author's thoughts should organically permeate into his body by reading and going as many times as he wants. If you do not normally read this kind of book, please take it.