It's pretty arrogant to write a book of your own aphorisms (rather than letting posterity select them from your body of work), but Taleb is a pretty arrogant guy. He and Donald Trump should be a presidential ticket.
There are a handful of worthwhile aphorisms in The Bed of Procrustes, and since the guy wants to be remembered for them, I'll repeat them:
- Nothing is more permanent than 'temporary' arrangements, deficits, truces, and relationships; and nothing is more temporary than 'permanent' ones.
- The test of whether you really liked a book is if you reread it (and how many times)...
- We ask 'why is he rich (or poor)?' not 'why isn't he richer (or poorer)?'; 'why is the crisis so deep?' not 'why isn't it deeper?'
- You remember emails you sent that were not answered better than emails that you did not answer.
- People focus on role models; it is more effective to find antimodels - people you don't want to resemble when you grow up.
- Only in recent history has 'working hard' signaled pride rather than shame for lack of talent and finesse.
- Some books cannot be summarized (real literature, poetry); some can be compressed to about ten pages; the majority to zero pages.