Not a full review/summary, but rather a collection of loose comments. Partly due to time constraints, but it is also suitable, since I read the book in a couple of sittings, separated by other reading. Also, I think that this is possibly Taleb’s most fragmented book so far. Here he regularly hops from one subject to another - instead of wandering between subjects like in other books. Sometimes it’s more like a loose string of ideas - only to suddenly find something to work with a bit longer.
I managed the first 60 pages on the plane (along with a mini-nap). My primary reaction: I've had it easier with Taleb. In particular the three-part introduction is at times rather fragmentary, and more ranting that building up an argument. The first proper chapter on on agency starts well in a more story-telling way, but crumbles towards the end in more fragments. Still, several worthwhile nuggets to be found in those first 60 pages.
Among these agency problems, an important subject that was already presented in Antifragile and interventionism (notably side effects of interventions by those without skin in the game). The over-arching subject is obviously the title that implies that if you want to intervene, or risk something, you should have skin in the game, because that should keep you from taking risks that will possibly break you.
What maybe annoys me most are the one-liners that are placed in the text and often kill the flow. Besides, to me it almost feels like the written equivalent of ‘canned laughter’. I don’t want the author to point out to me the quote-worthy parts, I want to discover and decide upon them myself.
I noticed also that I tend to lose interest when Taleb goes off on a rant, for example against Thaler, Hillary Clinton or Piketty - especially because I have no clue what happened between Thaler and Taleb, and I have not read Piketty’s best-seller (and will not do so for a long time, most likely).
On the upside, there are some interesting observations and thoughts on religion, some good sections/chapters that deal with scientism (look more like science than science itself, but is not the real thing), the Lindy Effect (already presented in Antifragile - here discussed as falsification by time) and rationality (notably Simon’s bounded variation). Interestingly, Taleb defines rationality not by traditional standards, but sees it as a risk management strategy.
As a whole, not a full recommendation, but dig around a bit and you will discover some gems in the 230-something pages (not counting appendices and glossary).