‘Most people write so they can remember things, I write to forget’ – The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms
Nassim Taleb’s latest book is a collection of miscellaneous memorable thoughts (aphorisms), many of which relate to Taleb’s disagreement and frustration with the academic economics practiced and publicly promoted by many Nobel prize winning economists.
There are two aspects of the title which warrant further discussion.
First, the term ‘aphorism’ comes from the classical Greek writings of Hippocrates. Given the various ills in economics which Taleb would like to see fixed, the appeal of referencing the father of medicine is quite clear.
The second aspect of the title, the ‘Procrustean Bed’, is also borrowed from classical Greece. The mythological figure of Procrustes would cut or stretch people to make them fit into his iron bed. Taleb’s view is that many leading economists basically do the economic equivalent by viewing the world in a way so that it fits with their quantitative models, rather than the other way around.
Continue reading the full review at SeekingAlpha here.