Nassim Taleb

Michael Appleton / New York Times / Redux

Man of Letters
The Black Swan is only one of several books Taleb has penned on the dangers of ignoring randomness. His latest volume, The Bed of Procrustes, released on November 30, is a collection of aphorisms that draws its title from the mythic character who made his visitors fit his bed to perfection by either stretching them or cutting their limbs, a metaphor for modern civilization's tendency to modify ideas and developments into easily digested models.

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