We’re all continuously flooded with information — so many dire warnings, breaking news, screams for attention, enervating noise. How much value, insight and wisdom do we gain from conventional main stream media to help each of us make the most of our finite time on this earth? For me, it’s virtually nil. But the blogosphere has been rewarding to me, and I believe to many others as well.
Shane Parish, produces an on-line newsletter, Farnam Street blog, which has provided me with personal satisfaction, insight and inspiration. Farnam Street is the address of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger’s Berkshire-Hathaway Company. Shane insists that Charlie Munger is the smartest human on the planet. Charlie Munger is wise, engaging, witty and he shares what he knows. Shane and Charlie provoke me to want to know more and better understand. Passing this referral along to others might be the best Christmas present that I can give. During this year, I’ve grown more and more mystified by (what appears to me to be) blatant widely shared human misjudgments on topics ranging from nutrition to foreign aid to climate change to projection of military power to national security. Shane’s article on Charlie Munger’s Psychology of Human Misjudgment registered with me. One reference led to another and I’ve grown to be a more avid truth and wisdom seeker. Charlie Munger has spent a great part of his life honing his judgment, attempting to control our innate human tendencies to costly error — human misjudgments. He shares that journey in lectures, conversations — much referenced in Shane’s blog. The audio talk from Charlie’s 1995 talk is packed with wisdom. In that short lecture, Charlie gave so much credit to insights of Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence, that I downloaded it to my Kindle. Charlie says in his audio talk, that he was so impressed by Cialdini’s book that Charlie gave him a Class A share in Berkshire Hathaway and bought copies of the book for all his kids. Charlie insists it’s the best investment any parent can make. Cialdini’s book is good — and its well-written and a quick read. Charlie’s insights are collected together by Peter Bevelin, Seeking Wisdom – From Darwin to Munger. Shane and others recommended Bevelin’s book so highly, that I dived into that next.
So this Christmas, I’ve taken Charlie’s advice and am presenting both of those books to kids and older grandkids in hopes they may learn how to think better and avoid at least a few of the mistakes which I’ve made.