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May. 9th, 2011



The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical AphorismsThe Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A collection of aphorisms by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan. Many of these I recognized from his short-lived Twitter account. The aphorisms are roughly organized by subject matter, although many could fit under other headings.

Taleb takes his title from the Greek myth of Procrustes, who invited travelers to sleep in his "perfect" bed. Procrustes made all travelers fit his bed: If the traveler was too tall, the legs would be chopped off; if too short, they would be stretched to fit. This, Taleb argues, is the problem of much social science, particularly economics, where the real world does not comport with "perfect" mathematical models and is ignored to our detriment.

It's an entertaining pithy book, but doesn't add much to what Taleb has already said elsewhere.

Kick-AssKick-Ass by Mark Millar

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The graphic novel that served as basis for the film (which, I should say, I haven't seen). A young boy decides to become a superhero, and finds it much more challenging and dangerous than he imagined. Soon, he and others, most notably the viciously violent Hit-Girl, are taking on some of the most dangerous criminals around.

While serving as a realistic take on the superhero genre, it is incredibly cynical and violent. The story, though, moves pretty well and the art is well done.



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