The Bed of Procrustes

The Bed of Procrustes : Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms


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A condensed guide to life, Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Bed of Procrustes is an invaluable collection of aphorisms to help you navigate the modern world. Why are we so often unwilling to accept that life is unpredictable? In this brilliant book Nassim Nicholas Taleb distils his idiosyncratic wisdom to demolish our illusions, contrasting the classical values of courage, elegance and erudition against modern philistinism and phoniness. Only by accepting what we don't know, he shows, can we see the world as it really is. "Happily provocative...blistering...his observations concern superiority, wealth, suckerdom, academia, modernity, technology and the all-purpose, ignorant "they"...very quotable." (The New York Times). "A master philosopher." (The Times). "Taleb's crystalline nuggets of thought stand alone like esoteric poems." (Financial Times). "Opinionated and witty...It showcases his wit and learning, and provides ways to fillet his enemies." (Independent on Sunday).

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Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 126 x 198 x 12mm | 100g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241954096
  • 9780241954096
  • 18,779

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Review quote

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 hila-rious glimpse. -- Robert Collins The Times

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About Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a radical no-nonsense philosopher 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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