Book quotes - Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger

Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger

Author: Peter Bevelin

Even people who are not geniuses can outthink the rest of mankind, as long as they have the right way of thinking. – Charles Darwin

What influences our thinking?

  • Gene, reproduction, aversion of risk, pain and uncertainty

List of reasons for misjudgement

  • Bias from mere association: automatically connect a stimuli with pain or reward
  • Underestimating the power of reward or punishment
  • Underestimating the power of self-interest and incentives
  • Self-serving bias: overly positive views of ourselves and future.
  • Self-deception and denial
  • Bias from consistency tendency: being consistent with our prior commitments even when acting against our best interest and facing disconfirming evidence.
  • Bias from deprival syndrome: strongly reacting when something we like to have is taken away.
  • Status-quo bias and do nothing syndrome: keeping things where they are or preference of default options
  • Impatience: value present more than future
  • Bias from envy and jealous
  • Distortion by contrast comparison: judging things not by their absolute magnitude but by their differences to something presented closely in space or time. Also,underestimating the consequence of gradual change over time.
  • Bias from anchoring: over-weighing some initial information
  • Overweighting vivid or most recent information
  • Omission and abstract blindness
  • Bias from reciprocation tendency
  • Bias from over-influence by like tendency
  • Bias from over-influence by tendency for social proof : peer pressure
  • Sensemaking: trying to draw a conclusion; construct explanation trying to fit an outcome
  • Reason-respecting: believe something just because we have been given a reason
  • Believe first and doubt later
  • Memory limitation: memorize selectively
  • Do something syndrome: do something without sensible reason
  • Mental confusion from say something syndrome: feel the need to say something when you have nothing to say
  • Emotional arousal
  • Mental confusion from stress
  • Mental confusion from pain

Keep in mind

  • Evaluate things on their own merits.
  • Encourage people to tell you bad news immediately.
  • Create a negative emotion if you want to end a certain behavior.
  • We don’t improve the man we hang, we improve others by him.
  • If we reward people for doing what they like to do, we sometimes turn what they enjoy doing into work.
  • Decision-makers should be held accountable for the consequences of their actions.
  • There is nothing wrong with changing a plan when situations has changed.
  • There are times when you should fight, and there are more times that you should just run away.
  • Be self-critical and unlearn your best-loved ideas.
  • We want and place higher value on something when we almost have it and lose it.
  • Deciding to do nothing is also a decision. The cost of doing nothing could be greater than the cost of taking an action.
  • The best way to avoid envy is to deserve the success you have.
  • Consider information from zero base level and adjust according to reality.
  • Whenever somebody has done something for us, we want to do something back .
  • Ask a favor of someone is likely to increase that person’s liking for us. Why? Because people want to be seen as consistent with their behavior.
  • How should we act if we are involved in an emergency in a public place and need help? Be specific.
  • If we believe that we are the only one who doesn’t understand, we are likely to keep quiet.
  • Blind obedience is sometimes an excuses for dumb actions.
  • To insure trustworthies, authorities often mention weaknesses before they mention strengths and provide information that seems to be contrary to their interest.
  • Our need for making sense makes us even believe in nonsense
  • Keep record of important events
  • You only have to get rich once

You ability to concentrate is directly proportional to your ability to eliminate distraction

Mastering workflow

  • collect
  • process
  • organize
  • review
  • do

Horizon of focus

  • purpose
  • vision
  • goal
  • areas of focus
  • projects
  • next actions