[20180523][書] 切膚之痛 (Skin in the Game) 2 – 不確定性的(不)平等

本次內容取自 Skin in the Game, Book 2 – A First Look at Agency, Chapter 1 – Why Each One Should Eat His Own Turtles: Equality in Uncertainty。Skin in the game 和作者 Nassim Nicholas Taleb 的介紹請見 20180517 的文章。Skin in the Game 這一章討論了買賣行爲的道德規範和人類的部落心理,編者覺得非常引人思考,而且因爲 Taleb 煽動性的風格,讀起來也很有意思。

Taleb 在這一章裡的敘事邏輯大致是:

  1. 他被銷售成功忽悠的經驗。
  2. 他在投資銀行時期,他和其他交易員利用銷售員將過多的風險資產 “倒貨” 給 “買方 (buy side)”,銷售員是如何利用藉由操弄顧客的心理來賺取大量金錢。
  3. 藉由斯多葛主義 (Stoicism) 兩個哲學家的辯論提出一個問題:賣方是否能選擇不揭露部分資訊給買方?一人覺得法律允許就可以不揭露,一人覺得出於道德必須全部揭露。
  4. 介紹伊斯蘭教法的做法,它不允許不確定性的不平等 (inequality of uncertainty),即要求買賣雙方必須承擔一樣的不確定性。比方說明知道產品是壞的還賣給買方,這就是不允許的。
  5. 猶太教更進一步,要求連 “意圖” 都得公開透明,比方說賣方一開始的心理價位。
  6. 話鋒一轉,指出上面這些道德標準不是對所有人都適用的,顯然很多人認爲 “殺熟” 是很不道德的,但是對於陌生人就沒那麼大的問題。
  7. 指出在社會上存在這非常多這種例子,人們特別喜歡組成一些相對小的群體,所以自下而上的組織比較穩定,反之則違反人性 (由一個大組織控制所有人)。
  8. 回到原來話題,表示符合到道德的銷售手段應該基於風險分享 (risk sharing),而不是風險轉移 (risk transferring)。
  9. 最後以醫療體系爲例, 指出設計不良的系統會造成一般情況下的 “好人” 爲了自保,而將風險轉移給病人。

古諺的教訓:

You need to eat what you feed others.

銷售人員的能力和可疑的道德尺度:

Salespeople are experts in the art of psychological manipulation, making the client trade, often against his own interest, all the while being happy about it and loving them and their company… “Rip them off, don’t tick them off” was his answer. He also added, “Remember that every day a new customer is born.

羅馬人很早以前就知道:

As the Romans were fully aware, one lauds merrily the merchandise to get rid of it.

Taleb 認爲道德永遠比法律還要可經考驗:

The ethical is always more robust than the legal. Over time, it is the legal that should converge to the ethical, never the reverse.

伊斯蘭律法的規定大致是:

No person in a transaction should have certainty about the outcome while the other one has uncertainty.

Taleb 個人覺得任何物質的好處都無法彌補剝買家皮被發現的恥辱感:

No compensation is worth the feeling of shame.

硬要把一些小部落湊成一個大部落是個非常差的主意 (如中國最近在新疆幹的事?)

The physicist and complexity researcher Yaneer Bar-Yam showed quite convincingly that “better fences make better neighbors”—something both “policymakers” and local governments fail to get about the Near East.

You know instinctively that people get along better as neighbors than roommates.

“Tragedy of the commons” 現象並不普遍適用到任何大小的群體:

But it is a critical mistake to think that people can function only under a private property system.

What Ostrom found empirically is that there exists a certain community size below which people act as collectivists, protecting the commons, as if the entire unit became rational… It also explains how tribes operate: you are part of a specific group that is larger than the narrow you, but narrower than humanity in general. Critically, people share some things but not others within a specified group. And there is a protocol for dealing with the outside.

(編注: 以上摘錄不代表個人立場,請自行斟酌其含義)

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