Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

You exist if and only if you are free to do things without a visible objective, with no justification and, above all, outside the dictatorship of someone else's narrative.
From his 2010 book, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms.  Procrustes was the mythical Greek host who made his guests fit his bed by either chopping off their feet (if they were too tall to fit the bed) or stretching them on a rack (if they were too short).  Theseus turned the tables on Procrustes by making him fit his bed by chopping off his head.  

Taleb believes we humans squeeze life and the world into reductive categories and prepackaged narratives -- we make the man fit the bed rather than making the bed fit the man.

Theseus turns the tables on Procrustes

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