The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

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Random House, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 112 pages
23 Reviews
The Bed of Procrustes is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb's landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don't understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, and Antifragile.

By the author of the modern classic The Black Swan, this collection of aphorisms and meditations expresses his major ideas in ways you least expect.

The Bed of Procrustes takes its title from Greek mythology: the story of a man who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection by either stretching them or cutting their limbs. It represents Taleb's view of modern civilization's hubristic side effects--modifying humans to satisfy technology, blaming reality for not fitting economic models, inventing diseases to sell drugs, defining intelligence as what can be tested in a classroom, and convincing people that employment is not slavery.

Playful and irreverent, these aphorisms will surprise you by exposing self-delusions you have been living with but never recognized.

With a rare combination of pointed wit and potent wisdom, Taleb plows through human illusions, contrasting the classical values of courage, elegance, and erudition against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness.

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Review: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

User Review  - Favian - Goodreads

The Bed of Procrustes begins by giving a background of what the bed signifies. It was a bed where its occupant was grotesquely stretched if he were too short or amputated if he were too tall for it ... Read full review

Review: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

User Review  - István - Goodreads

“My biggest problem with modernity may lie in the growing separation of the ethical and the legal” Read full review

About the author (2010)

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to problems of uncertainty, probability, and knowledge. He spent nearly two decades as a businessman and quantitative trader before becoming a full-time philosophical essayist and academic researcher in 2006. Although he spends most of his time in the intense seclusion of his study, or as a flâneur meditating in cafés, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University's Polytechnic Institute. His main subject matter is "decision making under opacity"--that is, a map and a protocol on how we should live in a world we don't understand.
 
Taleb's books have been published in thirty-three languages.


From the Compact Disc edition.

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