The Bed of Procrustes

  • by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Narrated by Sean Pratt
  • 1 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

By the author of the modern classic The Black Swan, this collection of aphorisms and meditations expresses his major ideas in ways you least expect.
The Bed of Procrustes takes its title from Greek mythology: the story of a man who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection by either stretching them or cutting their limbs. It represents Nassim Nicholas 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 against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness.

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What the Critics Say

“[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne.” (The Wall Street Journal)
The most prophetic voice of all.” (GQ)
"Idiosyncratically brilliant.” (Los Angeles Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fooled by poetry and neat rhetoric

I don't think anybody (pace Oscar Wilde) can write one and a half hours of aphorisms and expect to stay witty, likeable and credible. Mr Taleb ends up sounding rather up-his-own-bum, and, sometimes, just silly. He really doesn't like employment contracts (AKA wage slavery) or people who criticise his writing, and he is overly fond of sounding arty and noble and intellectual. Some of it is funny, and some of it is clever, but most of it just reveals to the reader (sorry, listener) the personality (and personality flaws) of the author. I loved Fooled by Randomness and Black Swan, which is why I tried this book, and I would recommend reading (or re-reading) those rather than trying this.
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- Judy Corstjens

Wonderful book of flipping things on their side.

It's not a story if that's what you are looking for. It's a collection of quips and thoughts. Which in the audio book setting means you may have to jump on that pause button more than once to give a moments respite to reflect before indulging yourself again.
Love the choice of aphorisms and appreciating more his personal view on the world.
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- Al

Book Details

  • Release Date: 30-12-2010
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC