The Bed of Procrustes

Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms

Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141969245

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 5063

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.

Incerto 4-Book Bundle

Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, The Bed of Procrustes, Antifragile

Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0812997697

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 1568

View: 8397

Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series is an investigation of luck, uncertainty, probability, opacity, human error, risk, disorder, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand, in nonoverlapping and standalone books. All four volumes—Antifragile, The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and the expanded edition of The Bed of Procrustes, updated with more than 50 percent new material—are now together in one ebook bundle. ANTIFRAGILE “Startling . . . richly crammed with insights, stories, fine phrases and intriguing asides.”—The Wall Street Journal Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, many things in life benefit from disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better. What is crucial is that the antifragile loves errors, as it incurs small harm and large benefits from them. Spanning politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine in an interdisciplinary and erudite style, Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world. THE BLACK SWAN “[A book] that altered modern thinking.”—The Times (London) A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random and more predictable. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows that black swan events underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives, and yet we—especially the experts—are blind to them. FOOLED BY RANDOMNESS “[Fooled by Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses were to the Catholic Church.”—Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover nonexistent messages in random events? Fooled by Randomness is about luck: more precisely, about how we perceive luck in our personal and professional experiences. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill—the markets—Fooled by Randomness is an irreverent, eye-opening, and endlessly entertaining exploration of one of the least understood forces in our lives. THE BED OF PROCRUSTES “Taleb’s crystalline nuggets of thought stand alone like esoteric poems.”—Financial Times This collection of aphorisms and meditations expresses Taleb’s 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. With a rare combination of pointed wit and potent wisdom, Taleb plows through human illusions, contrasting the classical views of courage, elegance, and erudition against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness.

Extremes

Author: Duncan Needham,Julius Weitzdörfer

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1108457002

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 194

View: 7730

Essays by leading intellectuals and public figures explore extreme events, environments, and achievements.

The Black Swan

the Impact of the Highly Improbable

Author: Eric Lybeck

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1351352989

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 92

View: 3107

One of the primary qualities of good creative thinking is an intellectual freedom to think outside of the box. Good creative thinkers resist orthodox ideas, take new lines of enquiry, and generally come at problems from the kinds of angles almost no one else could. And, what is more, when the ideas of creative thinkers are convincing, they can reshape an entire topic, and change the orthodoxy for good. Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s 2007 bestseller The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable is precisely such a book: an entertaining, polemical, creative attack on how people in general, and economic experts in particular view the possibility of catastrophic events. Taleb writes with rare creative verve for someone who is also an expert in mathematics, finance, and epistemology (the philosophy of knowledge), and he martials all his skills to turn standard reasoning inside out. His central point is that far from being unimportant, extremely rare events are frequently the most important ones of all: it is highly improbable, but highly consequential occurrences – what he calls Black Swans – that have shaped history most. As a result, Taleb concludes, improbability is not a reason to act as if a possible event does not matter. Rather, it should inspire the opposite reaction.

Incerto

Antifragile, the Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, the Bed of Procrustes

Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks

ISBN: 0399590455

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 1568

View: 2872

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's landmark Incerto series is an investigation of luck, uncertainty, probability, opacity, human error, risk, disorder, and decision-making in a world we don't understand, in nonoverlapping and standalone books. All four volumes--Antifragile, The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and the expanded edition of The Bed of Procrustes, updated with more than 50 percent new material--are now together in one boxed set. ANTIFRAGILE "Startling . . . richly crammed with insights, stories, fine phrases and intriguing asides."--The Wall Street Journal Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, many things in life benefit from disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls "antifragile" is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better. What is crucial is that the antifragile loves errors, as it incurs small harm and large benefits from them. Spanning politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine in an interdisciplinary and erudite style, Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world. THE BLACK SWAN "[A book] that altered modern thinking."--The Times (London) A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictab≤ it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random and more predictable. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows that black swan events underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives, and yet we--especially the experts--are blind to them. FOOLED BY RANDOMNESS "[Fooled by Randomness] is to conventional Wall Street wisdom approximately what Martin Luther's ninety-five theses were to the Catholic Church."--Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover nonexistent messages in random events? Fooled by Randomness is about luck: more precisely, about how we perceive luck in our personal and professional experiences. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill--the markets--Fooled by Randomness is an irreverent, eye-opening, and endlessly entertaining exploration of one of the least understood forces in our lives. THE BED OF PROCRUSTES "Taleb's crystalline nuggets of thought stand alone like esoteric poems."--Financial Times This collection of aphorisms and meditations expresses Taleb's 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. With a rare combination of pointed wit and potent wisdom, Taleb plows through human illusions, contrasting the classical views of courage, elegance, and erudition against the modern diseases of nerdiness, philistinism, and phoniness.

Skin in the Game

Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life

Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0241247489

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 873

From the bestselling author of The Black Swan, a bold book that challenges many of our long-held beliefs about risk and reward, politics and religion, finance and personal responsibility 'Skin in the game means that you do not pay attention to what people say, only to what they do, and how much of their neck they are putting on the line' Citizens, artisans, police, fishermen, political activists and entrepreneurs all have skin in the game. Policy wonks, corporate executives, many academics, bankers and most journalists don't. It's all about having something to lose and sharing risks with others. In his most provocative and practical book yet, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows that skin in the game, often seen as the foundation of risk management, in fact applies to all aspects of our lives. In his inimitable style, Taleb draws on everything from Antaeus the Giant to Hammurabi to Donald Trump, from ethics to used car salesmen, to create a jaw-dropping framework for understanding this idea. Among his insights: For social justice, focus on symmetry and risk sharing. Minorities, not majorities, run the world. You can be an intellectual yet still be an idiot. Beware of complicated solutions (that someone was paid to find). Just as The Black Swan did during the 2007 financial crisis, Skin in the Game comes at precisely the right moment to challenge our long-held beliefs about risk, reward, politics, religion and business - and make us rethink everything we thought we knew.