The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Dec 2, 2010 - Humor - 160 pages
14 Reviews

In this profound and playful book, Nassim Nicholas Taleb presents his ideas about life in the form of aphorisms, the world's earliest - and most memorable - literary form.

Procrustes was a character from Greek mythology who abducted travellers and invited them to spend the night in a special bed, which they had to fit to perfection. They never did. Those who were too tall had their legs chopped off; those who were too short were stretched.

Every aphorism here is about a Procrustean bed of sorts - we humans, facing the limits of our knowledge, the unseen and the unknown, resolve the tension by squeezing life and the world into crisp commoditized ideas, reductive categories, specific vocabularies and pre-packaged narratives. Only by embracing the unexpected - and accepting what we don't know - can we see the world as it really is.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
2
3 stars
0
2 stars
6
1 star
4

Review: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

User Review  - Uwe Hook - Goodreads

Though this is the shortest of Taleb's books - and many found it in fact too short - I must say I found it is way too long. It is perhaps unavoidable that, in a collection of aphorisms, every gem of ... Read full review

Review: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

User Review  - Goodreads

Though this is the shortest of Taleb's books - and many found it in fact too short - I must say I found it is way too long. It is perhaps unavoidable that, in a collection of aphorisms, every gem of ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Nassim Nicholas Taleb spends most of his time as a flâneur, meditating in cafés across the planet. A former trader, he is currently Distinguished Professor at New York University's Polytechnic Institute. His

books Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan have been published in thirty-one languages.

Bibliographic information