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Books / Media, Hacks

Audible.com Is Just So 17th Century

Pierre-Daniel Huet [1630 – 1720] was perhaps the first person to multi-task with books, getting the jump on audible.com by a few hundred years.

(Pierre-Daniel) Huet, who lived into his nineties, had a servant follow him with a book to read aloud to him during meals and breaks and thus avoid lost time. He was deemed the most read person in his day.”

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Published by Random House, Inc., 2008

This anecdote is from The Black Swan pp48. Although I cannot find a second source to confirm Taleb I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

By the way, if you are going to read Taleb I make two recommendations:

[1] try “Fooled by Randomness” before launching into “The Black Swan”.

[2] get the audible.com edition instead of the printed or kindle edition.

I suggest audible because I’m one of Taleb’s fans who gets made crazy by his continual literary (and other) asides. Beside emulating Huet, it’s easier to ignore Taleb’s ‘fluff’ when you are listening as compared to when you are reading.



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