Monday, December 13, 2010

Little boxes.

Last week was my birthday--or the anniversary of my birth, as my punctilious brother would point out. My wife gave me a book called "The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms" by Nassim Nicholas Talem, a Distinguished Professor at New York University.

I'm not sure about Taleb. I began a previous book of his "The Black Swan," but didn't feel he or it had the gravity to warrant a week of my leisure. I'm wary, and always will be of people who have crap like this written in their "About the Author." "...which has spent more than a year on The New York Times bestseller list and has become an intellectual, social, and cultural touchstone." Oh, just kill me now.

"The Bed of Procrustes" is a book of aphorisms. Reading it is like reading a carton-load of fortune cookies. Talem is Seth Godin with 20 more points of IQ. Or 30.

Nevertheless, here's one I liked. Maybe because it suits my mood on a crappy Monday. "They are born, then put in a box; they go home to live in a box; they study by ticking boxes; they go to what is called "work" in a box, where they sit in their cubicle box; they drive to the grocery store in a box to buy food in a box; they go to the gym in a box to sit in a box; they talk about thinking "outside the box"; and when they die they are put in a box. All boxes, Euclidian, geometrically smooth boxes."


Tore Claesson said...

at least it's better than a bag.

Dave Trott said...

It's not wrong, but it's hardly an insight.
Pete Seeger did it 50 years ago:

geo said...

That's right, Dave. The book is a fraud. (But a birthday gift from my wife.)

geo said...
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