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.
Second edition, revised and expanded
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.
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
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.