The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

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9781846144585: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms
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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.

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Review:

Like Twain and Wilde before him, Taleb eats paradoxes for breakfast...The aphorism is Taleb to a tee. It showcases his wit and learning, and provides ways to fillet his enemies. All his usual suspects are present to be corrected: bankers, fools, politicians, journalists...Present, too, are his heroes: the curious, the intellectually anarchistic, the idle philosopher. (James Kidd Independent on Sunday)

[A] quirky, entertaining collection of aphorisms, covering everything from the web ("like a verbally incontinent person") to the injuriousness of doing too much work ("My idea of the sabbatical is to work for (part of) a day and rest for six") ... a wry, often hila­rious glimpse. (Robert Collins The Times)

About the Author:

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an uncompromizing no-nonsense thinker for our times. He has spent his life immersing himself in problems of luck, uncertainty, probability, and knowledge, and he has led three high-profile careers around his ideas, as a man of letters, as a businessman-trader, and as a university professor and researcher. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University's School of Engineering. He is the author of the 4-volume INCERTO (Antifragile, The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and The Bed of Procrustes). Taleb refuses all awards and honours as they debase knowledge by turning it into competitive sports.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780812982404: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms (Incerto)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0812982401 ISBN 13:  9780812982404
Publisher: Penguin Random House USA, 2016
Softcover

9781400069972: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms (Incerto)

Random..., 2010
Hardcover

9780141985022: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

Penguin, 2016
Softcover

9780241954096: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

Penguin, 2011
Softcover

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2011. 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 dont know - can we see the world as it really is 128 pp. Seller Inventory # 91033

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