Things are not always as they seem

"Critics may appear to blame the author for not writing the book they wanted to read; but in truth they are blaming him for writing the book they wanted, but were unable, to write."

- Nassim Taleb - The Bed of Procustes

"What fools call “wasting time” is most often the best investment."

- Nassim Taleb - The Bed of Procustes

"You exist if and only if you are free to do things without a visible objective, with no justification and, above all, outside the dictatorship of someone else’s narrative."

- Nassim Taleb - The Bed of Procustes

"It is my great hope someday to see science and decision makers rediscover what the ancients have always known, namely that our highest currency is respect."

- Nassim Nicholas Taleb - The Black Swan

I propose that if you want a simple step to a higher form of life, as distant from the animal as you can get, then you may have to denarrate, that is, shut down the television set, minimize time spent reading newspapers, ignore the blogs. Train your reasoning abilities to control your decisions; nudge System 1 (the heuristic or experiential system) out of the important ones. Train yourself to spot the difference between the sensational and the empirical. This insulation from the toxicity of the world will have an additional benefit: it will improve your well-being. Also, bear in mind how shallow we are with probability, the mother of all abstract notions. You do not have to do much more in order to gain a deeper understanding of things around you. Above all, learn to avoid “tunneling.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb - The Black Swan

"History is opaque. You see what comes out, not the script that produces events, the generator of history. There is a fundamental incompleteness in your grasp of such events, since you do not see what’s inside the box, how the mechanisms work. What I call the generator of historical events is different from the events themselves, much as the minds of the gods cannot be read just by witnessing their deeds. You are very likely to be fooled about their intentions."

- Nassim Nicholas Taleb - The Black Swan