The Bed Of Procrustes

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

People are much less interested in what you are trying to show them than in what you are trying to hide.

People don’t like it when you ask them for help; they also feel left out when you don’t ask them for help.

When we want to do somthing while unconsciously certain to fail; we seek advice so we can blame someone else for the failure.

Never say NO twice if you mean it.

If someone is making an effort to ignore you, he is no ignoring you.

Never read a book review written by an author whose books you wouldn’t read.

It is a very powerful manipulation to let others win the small battles.

If you want strangers to help you, smile. For those close to you, cry.

People used to wear ordinary clothes weekdays and formal attire on Sunday. Today it is the exact reverse.

Fortune punishes the greedy by making him poor and the very greedy by making him rich.

You will never know for sure if someone is an asshole until he becomes rich.

You will be civilized on the day you can spend a long period doing nothing, learning nothing, and improving nothing, without feeling the slightest amount of guilt.

You are rich if and only if money you refuse tastes better than money you accept.

Never hire an A student unless it is to take exams.

Over the long term, you are more likely to fool yourself than others.

There are two types of people: those who try to win and those who try to win arguments. They are never the same.

The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbs and monthly salary.

My only measure of success is how much time you have to kill.

A good book gets better on the second reading. A great book on the third. Any book not worth rereading isn’t worth reading.

If the professor is not capable of giving a class without preparation, don’t attend. People should only teach what they have learned organically, through experience and curiosity… or get another job.

What I learned on my own I still remember.

God created Monte Carlo and similar places so extremely rich people would come expierence extreme envy.

Most people need to wait for another person to say :this is beautiful art” to say “this is beautiful art”; some need to wait for two or more.

Studying neurobiology to understand humans is like studying ink to undestand literature.

If you find any reason why you and someone are friends, you are not friends.

To value person, consider the difference between how impressive he or she was at the first encounter and the most recent one.

Never take advice from salesman, or any advice that benefit the advice giver.

I trust everyone except those who tell me they are trustworthy.

The difference between magnificence and arrogance is in what one does when nobody is looking.

To understand how something works, figure out how to break it.

Failure-resistant is achievable; failure-free is not.

For a free person, the optimal – most opportunistic – route between two point should never be the shortest one.

Just as eating cow meat doesn’t turn you into a cow, studying philosophy doesn’t make you wiser.

The problem of knowledge is that there are many more books on birds written by ornithologists than books on birds written by birds and books on ornithologists written by birds.

It takes extraordinary wisdom and self-control to accept that many things have a logic we do not undestand that is smarter than our own.

To become a philosopher, start by walking very slowly.

Let us find what risks we can measure and these are the risks we should be taking.

A mathematician starts with a problem and creates a solution; a consultant starts by offering a “solution” and creates a problem.

Never take investment advice from someone who has to work for a living.

The only definition of an alpha male; if you try to be an alpha male, you will never be one.

Risk takers never complain. They do.

When someone says “I am not that stupid”, if often means that he is more stupid than he thinks.

When people call you intelligent it is almost always because they agree with you. Otherwise they just call you arrogant.

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