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The point isn't that skin in the game causes better decision-making, the point is that the losers exit the gene pool. If you walk into any restaurant in the United States, you can bet the food is of better quality than that of a Soviet-era cafeteria. The difference? One group has skin in the game and must compete or die. One group doesn't. Skin in the game ensures the health of the restaurant industry (as measured by, say, quality of food), not the health of any one restaurant.

As for your assertion re: experts in "closed" vs "open" systems, the issue is less one of "open" systems requiring humility, and more that "open" systems are statistically filled with BS artists. Why? Because they don't have the filtering mechanism that gets rid of those people. A fake dentist can't pull the wool over patients' eyes for long, but a macroeconomist can do just that for his entire career.

People who have been 'weeded out of the gene pool' are non-experts. I don't classify them as experts to begin with. Even with open systems, to qualify as an expert in any sense, you need to have some kind of a track record, otherwise you're not an expert, you're just a bullshit artist, and your opinion is immaterial (immaterial to me at least, they may have a great deal of influence on others, which I guess is something that needs to be factored in to any predictions you make re: cult of Elon vs. Tesla shorts). Someone claiming to be an expert is not necessarily an expert, that's the first distinction that needs to be made.

Are you asserting that all economists and financial goobs are "BS artists," or merely most? Is there a way to tell the difference better than "he hasn't gone belly up yet"?

They're only asserting that some economists could get away with being "BS artists," so inevitably, some do. Obviously that hurts the study of economics as a whole, because if you can get away with BS, that means people can't tell what is and is not BS, so non-BS looks like BS and has to compete on points other than merit.

Certainly Taleb is referring to all economists, give or take a handful, not just some.

That doesn't matter. The point still stands so long as it is true for at least one economist.

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