The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

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Random House, 2010 - Self-Help - 112 pages
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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BenKline - LibraryThing

An interesting collection of aphorisms and general sayings and ideas. A bit cynical, snarky, definitely anti-journalist, anti-politician, and such. Super quick read, despite the prologue telling you to only read four or so at a time. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ThothJ - LibraryThing

Interesting and thought-provoking. A more in-depth review to follow. Read full review

Contents

MATTERS ONTOLOGICAL
17
CHARMING AND LEss CHARMING SUCKER PROBLEMs
33
THE UNIVERSAL AND THE PARTICULAR
52
RoBUSTNESS AND FRAGILITY
70
THE LUDIC FALLACY AND DOMAIN DEPENDENCE
75
THE SAGE THE WEAK AND THE MAGNIFICENT
93
Acknowledgments
113
Copyright

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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 of Risk Engineering at New York University. He is the author of Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan, which has spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list and has become an intellectual, social, and cultural touchstone.

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