Thursday, June 21, 2012

Notes on Talk Five

1. It turns out that the truly big ideas in each discipline, learned only in essence, carry most of the freight.
2. I know no person in business, respected for verified good judgment, whose wisdom-maintenance system does not include use of such periodicals.
3. Soft science (social science) should more intensely imitate the fundamental organizing ethos of hard science (defined as the fundamental four-discipline combination" of math, physics, chemistry,and engineering).

Fundamental organizing ethos:

  • You must both rank and use disciplines in order of fundamentalness. 
  • You must, like it or not, master to tested fluency and routinely use the truly essential parts of all four constituents of the fundamental four-discipline combination, with particularly intense attention give to disciplines more fundamental than your own. 
  • You may never practice EITHER cross-disciplinary absorption without attribution OR departure from a "principle of economy" that forbids explaining in any other way anything readily explainable from more fundamental material in your own or any other discipline. 
Richard Feynman: Renowned physicist. He worked on the Manhattan Project and was instrumental in the development of the atomic bomb. He was named to the commission that investigated the Challenger Space Shuttle accident. he demonstrated the effect of cold temperatures on rubber O-rings and showed how the resulting shrinkage allowed hot gases to escape, causing the explosion.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Practical Thought About Charlie Munger's "Practical Thought About Practical Thought?"

Today's reading for me is my role model, Charlie Munger's talk to a group that has a policy of not publicizing its programs. Below are the wonderful quotes from Charlie:

1. Where elementary ideas will serve, your problem solving must not be limited, as academia and many business bureaucracies are limited, by extreme balkanization into disciplines and subdisciplines, with strong taboos against any venture outside assigned territory.
2. It is not usually the conscious malfeasance of your narrow professional adviser that does you in. Instead, your troubles come from his subconscious bias.

3. 5 helpful notions

  • It is usually best to simplify problems by deciding big "no-brainer" questions first
  • Without numerical fluency, in the part of life most us inhabit, you are like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest. 
  • Invert, always invert
  • The best and most practical wisdom is elementary academic wisdom. But you must think in a multidisciplinary manner. 
  • Really big effects, lollapalooza effects, will often come only from large combinations of factors.
4. The best way to avoid envy, recognized by Aristotle, is to plainly deserve the success we get.
5. The standard deprival super-reaction syndrome makes "take-aways" so hard to get in any type of negotiation and helps make most gamblers so irrational.