December 22, 2010
The Bed of Procrustes by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
From The Guardian:
Procrustes, in Greek myth, was the cruel owner of an estate in Attica who abducted travellers and cut off their heads to ensure they fitted his bed perfectly. Every aphorism here is about a Procrustean bed of sorts: faced with the imperfection of the unknown and the unobserved, we humans tend to backfit the world into reductive categories such that only someone of my immense intellect is able to point out the inherent futility of modern life. Since aphorisms lose their charm whenever explained – especially when they are as banal as the ones that follow – I pompously relegate further discussion to the postface, though they all revolve around matters more deeply dealt with in my extremely significant and influential book, The Black Swan.
▶ If your anger decreases with time, you did injustice: If it increases, you suffered injustice.
▶ The opposite of manliness isn't cowardice; it's technology.
▶ Most of what they call humility is successfully disguised arrogance.
▶ The more a writer thinks himself to be serious, the less serious his writing becomes.
▶ A man who is labelled a guru for his last book, will think himself a philosopher in the next.
▶ You can be once, twice, three times a lady; but only once a man.
▶ People used to wear ordinary clothes weekdays and formal attire on Sunday. Today it is the exact reverse.
Posted by Azra Raza at 06:06 AM | Permalink