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The Bed of Procrustes


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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  • Auteur : Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Éditeur : Penguin
  • Date de parution : 02/12/10
  • EAN : 9780141969244
  • Format : ePub
  • Nombre de pages: 176
  • Protection : Contenu protégé

Résumé

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.

Biographie de Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent twenty-one years as a risk taker before becoming a researcher in philosophical, mathematical, and (mostly) practical problems with probability. Although he spends most of his time as a flâneur, meditating in cafes across the planet, he is currently Distinguished Professor at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering but self-funds his own research.

His books, Antifragile, The Black Swan, The Bed of Procrustes and Fooled by Randomness (part of a multi-volume collection called Incerto, Latin for uncertainty), have been translated into thirty-seven languages. Taleb has authored more than fifty scholarly papers as backup to Incerto, ranging from international affairs and risk management to statistical physics. He refuses all awards and honours as they debase knowledge by turning it into competitive sports.

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