The Bed of Procrustes

The Bed of Procrustes

Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

Book - 2010
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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.

"Taleb's crystalline nuggets of thought stand alone like esoteric poems."-- Financial Times
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2010.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781400069972
Branch Call Number: 818.602 TALEB N
Characteristics: xii, 112 pages ; 21 cm.


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Feb 12, 2015

Absolutely love aphorisms and absolutely loved this book. Didn't agree with every single one, but enjoyed seeing an alternative view of many things I had never given much thought about. For me, books are meant to entertain & enlighten...this book certainly did both.

zavirani Oct 20, 2011

I really enjoyed The Black Swan, but the 'aphorisms' that constitute this book was just like reading the table of contents or title headings from Black Swan. Could read it in an hour or two, some zingers, but that's all it is.

Apr 10, 2011

You have to be pretty impressed with yourself to launch a book of aphorisms like this into the world. Taleb is occasionally prone to reheating old platitudes, but he also gets off some brilliant zingers that you'll want to pass off as your own at either a business meeting or a dinner party. Don't read the book all in one go. It would be like eating a box of chocolates at one sitting. Savour the ones that deserve it, forget the ones that don't, and enjoy the ride. It's a few hours in the company of a witty, self-centred, occasionally overbearing, but always fascinating human being.


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