Criteria and Filter for Lindy Books

I use certain heuristics to curate the lindy book list and these should be transparent and made public. Filters (additional to age) for choosing books in the lindy list are Skin in the Game, Erudition, Path Emergence and Topics. These are also applied to new and newcomer books on

Skin in the Game (SITG)

Individuals with SITG, such as entrepreneurs, can have their books added to if they write books in their respective domain. But it is not enough to have short-term success, as certain conditions that distort results and filters, such as zero interest rates, must also be considered. Also this filter is highly domain dependent, implying that an author who acquired knowledge through Skin in the Game in one domain may not be able to transfer it easily to another.
If an author believes in his or her book and is willing to invest a certain amount, this demonstrates Skin in the Game. Therefore, newcomer books are only displayed on if they purchase a listing, which helps to filter out poor-quality books to some extent.


Books recommended by scholars can enter the Lindy Book Data Base. The scholar is like a bullshit filter. You don't always have to agree with his ideas and conclusions, but due to his broad fund of knowledge he immediately recognizes if someone is talking bullshit. The scholar saves you a lot of time and mental resources when you want to look deeper into a topic. Once you have identified scholars, they help you locate other scholars. You can find a list of scholars here.

Path Emergence

Path Emergence refers to the fact that good books are often based on older, quality books. If a good book is identified, the books that inspired the author can also be added to Similarly, newcomer books can select the lindy books that inspired them, thereby highlighting a lindy path and demonstrating that their work is based on a strong foundation.


If a book covers a highly relevant topic that is ignored by the public, it is likely to be a good candidate for inclusion on the lindy list. Furthermore, there are lindy and non-lindy topics, and the category system ignores topics that are merely popular due to mimetic desire or a superficial understanding of the world. Also topics should have some connection to real-world problems to be deemed as relevant.

Originality: Elements of Surprise

Nassim Taleb said that good books can't be summarized. Thus a heuristic for lindy books would be that different people come up with different summaries for the same book. One method to apply this heuristic is to look at book reviews. If they sound all the same for a given book, then avoid the book. Another indicator for the originality of an author is the element of surprise present in the table of content. Does it read like the expected table of content for this kind of book, lacking any element of surprise? Then also avoid reading it.

Read also "How to Choose Books".

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