The Bed of Procrustes

ebook Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms · Incerto

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb

cover image of The Bed of Procrustes

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The author of the modern classics The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb expresses major ideas in ways you least expect in this collection of aphorisms and meditations—now expanded with fifty percent more material than the hardcover.

The Bed of Procrustes takes its title from the Greek myth of a man who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection, either by stretching them or by 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 with the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phonies.
The Bed of Procrustes