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The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms (Incerto) Hardcover – 30 Nov 2010
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Praise for Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“The most prophetic voice of all.” —GQ
“The hottest thinker in the world.” —Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times (London)
“[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Idiosyncratically brilliant.” —Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to problems of uncertainty, probability, and knowledge. He spent nearly two decades as a businessman and quantitative trader before becoming a full-time philosophical essayist and academic researcher in 2006. Although he spends most of his time in the intense seclusion of his study, or as a flâneur meditating in cafés, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. His main subject matter is “decision making under opacity”—that is, a map and a protocol on how we should live in a world we don’t understand.
Taleb’s books have been published in thirty-three languages.
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Some of the aphorisms rang true. Some were profound and some were not. Some were downright dumb. But the value of aphorisms is to be gathered from what one makes of them. Apart from the Greek myth of the Procrustean bed (what attracted me to the book in first place) dealt with in the two pages of the preface, only a few aphorisms gave me pause and made me think. Most of them seemed run-of-mill repetitions.
For a $ 4 million advance to Taleb on the book and the love other readers have for this particular work, perhaps this book is targeted towards those who have read his earlier work and are cued in to certain phenomenon.
I gave it 3 stars instead of 2.5, because while I did not find many Taleb's aphorisms pertinent or up-to-the-mark does not mean that they wrong or right. So I would like to rate it so-so (and not bad), leaving other readers to make up their own minds.
The book has a decent quality cover paper with matte finish. The illuminated letters effect on the front actually comes across as blurred and pirated. It seems intentional on part of Penguin though I don't know why.
The inside pages are cream-hued with legible printing and a decent font size. The book bought for INR 236 at amazon.in (MRP 399) has inner pages that positively resemble a mass paperback of low to medium paper quality.
Short ,can be finished in a day.
Novelty, written in aphorism format not prose. A distinct book in Incerto. Other 3 are more or less same.
Some parts are funny, sarcastic and attack modernity.
Like other NNT books it leaves you more confused 😕 and has no real life applications. So if you want to learn something practical avoid it.
Some aphorisms were so vague that I didn't make sense out of them. NNT alone knows what he really wants to say. Our inference may be invalid.
The price is too high though for such a small book ,especially hardcover edition.
To benefit from its efficacy, consume slowly - and reflecting - may be a couple a day.
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