From Hammurabi to Kant

From Hammurabi to Kant

Hammurabi’s best-known injunction is as follows: "If a builder builds a house and the house collapses and causes the death of the owner of the house—the builder shall be put to death."

Asim Husanović (@asimhusanovic) - Profile Photo




Skin in the Game

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Many kids would learn to love mathematics if they had some investment in it, and, more crucially, they would build an instinct to spot its misapplications.

Studying courage in textbooks doesn’t make you any more courageous than eating cow meat makes you bovine.

By some mysterious mental mechanism, people fail to realize that the principal thing you can learn from a professor is how to be a professor—and the chief thing you can learn from, say, a life coach or inspirational speaker is how to become a life coach or inspirational speaker.

NASSIM nicholas taleb

How much you truly “believe” in something can be manifested only through what you are willing to risk for it.

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

Indeed you need to win whatever you are after: money, territory, the heart of a grammar specialist, or a (pink) convertible car. For focusing just on words puts one on a very dangerous slope, since

We are much better at doing than understanding.

The curse of modernity is that we are increasingly populated by a class of people who are better at explaining than understanding,

or better at explaining than doing.

margaret mead

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has

Madness of crowds

Madness is rare in individuals, but in groups, parties, nations, it is the rule.

- Nietzsche

There is always an element of fools of randomness and crooks of randomness in matters of uncertainty; one has a lack of understanding, the second has warped incentives. One, the fool, takes risks he doesn’t understand, mistaking his own past luck for skills, the other, the crook, transfers risks to others.

There is another point: we may not know beforehand if an action is foolish—but reality knows.

Don't give crap, don't take crap.

More practical approach is:

Start by being nice to every person you meet. But if someone tries to exercise power over you, excercise power over him.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

There is this illusion that just as businessmen are motivated and rewarded by profits, scientists should be motivated and rewarded by honors and recognition. That’s not how it works. Remember, science is a minority rule: a few will run it, others are just back-office clerks.

Tom Holland

The Romans judged their political system by asking not whether it made sense but whether it worked.


Courage (risk taking) is the highest virtue.

We need entrepreneurs.

Jean-Louis Rheault

In Canada, when we say bilingual, it is English- speaking, and when we say French-speaking it becomes bilingual.

You cannot steal "a little bit" or murder "moderately" — just as you cannot keep kosher and eat "just a little bit" of pork on Sunday barbecues.

The Golden Rule wants you to Treat others the way you would like them to treat you.

The more robust Silver Rule says Do not treat others the way you would not like them to treat you.

Sometimes I would offer something for sale for, say, $5, but communicated with the client through a salesperson, and the salesperson would come back with an "improvement", of $5.10.

Something never felt right about the extra ten cents.

It was, simply, not a sustainable way of doing business. What if the customer subsequently discovered that my initial offer was $5?

No compensation is worth the feeling of shame.

Men feel the good less intensely than the bad.

(A psychological theory by which a loss is more painful than a gain is pleasant.)


Not everything that happens happens for a reason, but everything that survives survives for a reason.

People who are not morally independent tend to fit ethics to their profession (with a minimum of spinning), rather than find a profession that fits their ethics.

  1. artisans do things for existential reasons first, financial and commercial ones later. Their decision making is never fully financial, but it remains financial.
  2. they have some type of “art” in their profession; they stay away from most aspects of industrialization; they combine art and business.
  3. they put some soul in their work: they would not sell something defective or even of compromised quality because it hurts their pride.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Doing things in the real world, in some professions (such as medicine), bears the name clinical, which is not deemed to be scientific. Many disciplines lack this third dimension, the clinical one.


Use laws that are old but food that is fresh

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Anything that smacks of competition destroys knowledge.

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Black Swans are not inconsequential anomalies, but a significant phenomenon that shapes the very world we live in. Many historical events that drastically impacted our socities and lives were actually Black Swan events. These incluse the 2 world wars, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 11 Sep 2001 terrorist attacks, the rise of the Internet or the 2019-2020 Covid pandemic. 

In all these cases, no one could've predicted the events in advance.

The Black Swan

by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Going from one to n is just a start of another new business which is already existing in the market. You are building something which is not unique, which is not something people can say 'okay this is something new in the market'.Its just another service from another brand.

Going from zero to one is a process where you have unique idea which was never build, never used. You make something new that gives value to people.You start something which can overcome some large and real world problems.

Zero to One

by Blake Masters

Zero to One is about how to build companies that create new things

The book draws on Thiel's experience as a co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, investor in hundreds of startups, including Facebook and SpaceX. Thiel cautions the book offers no formula for success. Such a formula cannot exist as every innovation is new and unique. 

The most powerful pattern he has noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas.

Zero to One

by Blake Masters, Peter Thiel

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