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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By A on 08-25-11
Read this one
Awesome book with thought provoking insights. Well read with clear audio. I enjoyed listening to this book but then went out and bought a hard copy. Each aphorism is captivating in its own way. Each sentence is its own story. To plow through them in a non-stop narrative means that a lot will be missed. To truly benefit from this work, you need to read it slowly. The optimal way to absorb this book would be to have a hard copy at the bedside and read just a few aphorisms each night.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Chris Reich on 07-30-12
Buy the BOOK
While this a good listen and full of little wisdoms, you'll want the hard bound book near your desk as a reference piece. I can see using many of these aphorisms as quotes in presentations. Lots of great stuff hear but better in book form.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Judy Corstjens on 10-31-13
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.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
By Al on 11-12-17
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.