Distractions, Diversions, Books, Wines, Whiskeys and Other Stuff To Think About When You Should Be Doing Something Else.

RFC: Procrustean Prompting

So, I’ve gotten my hands on a copy of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s new book The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms. I must say it isn’t exactly what I expected. Most people probably know an aphorism or two, even if they don’t know that is what they are called. “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” or “The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” are two common aphorisms, but essentially any short saying that contains a general truth or bit of wisdom can be considered an aphorism. I knew the book was going to be a collection of aphorisms but I also expected some longer sections of philosophy. It turns out that the book is entirely composed of aphorisms without a larger narrative though there is, apparently, a theme.

In an idle moment I was flipping randomly through the various ‘chapters’ that contain aphorisms on particular topics. As I did, I found myself thinking about using aphorisms as writing prompts, something that is one of the oldest tricks in the history of old tricks, and how it might be really interesting to turn this book into some kind of weblog meme, passing the torch from blog to blog to elicit a post inspired by the aphorisms contained in the book combined with the interests and world-view of the authors. Maybe even making them into an online, or even printed collection.

Thus, my request for comment.

Anybody else think this sounds like an interesting project or would like to offer any ideas to improve or expand the concept?

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