dimpledbrain

The conceptual framework for a man's search for meaning

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The Bed of Procrustes

May 23rd, 2015 by dimpledbrain

I first heard the name Procrustes from Nassim Taleb’s lesser known book, The Bed of Procrustes.

Procrustes cuts an interesting tale in the Greek mythology not so much about his iron bed as it is about how he ‘stretches’ every passerby to fit his bed. (I suppose the movie The Human Centipede got its inspiration from Procrustes). Secretly, Procrustes had two beds and he only offered the one that he needed to ‘adjust’ his guests (i.e. amputation).

Which brings us to the question, have we ever considered how at times our mind works exactly like Procrustes’ iron bed? How we discard useful information/ facts only to┬áseek information we already knew? (e.g confirmation bias)

(1) Our mind and the external reality are different.

  • beware when we/others insist our/their high level abstraction is the sole truth

(2) Accept that our mind can never have perfect perception of reality

(3) And that means keep adjusting our map (mind) to the territory (external reality)

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