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Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin To Munger

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  3,495 ratings  ·  209 reviews
Peter Bevelin begins his fascinating book with Confucius' great wisdom: "A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it, is committing another mistake." Seeking Wisdom is the result of Bevelin's learning about attaining wisdom. His quest for wisdom originated partly from making mistakes himself and observing those of others but also from the philosophy of super-i ...more
Hardcover, 318 pages
Published 2007 by Post Scriptum AB (first published 2003)
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Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I give this book 5 stars not because this is one of the best books I have read but because this is one of the best summary of ideas I ingested in last 2 years. I don't know how a casual reader with no prior exposure to topics covered in the book would ingest the densely packed material but if you are an ardent reader in topics such as decision science, finance and probability this book is nothing but a collection of ideas from these areas. If you have read 'Thinking, Fast and Slow', 50% of seeki ...more
Drew Johnson
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it

More a compiliation of Buffet and Munger's words of wisdom than a book. As compiliations go, its pretty good. Some of my favorites:

Beliefs have biological consequences
Fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain
Our brain operates more on pattern recognition than logic
Cost of doing nothing can be greater than the cost of an action
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome
Human beings are good at interpreting new information so that prior conclusions remai
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-development
This felt like an information dump to me. There's a lot of value, but it's heavily condensed and anecdotal making it really difficult to come away with anything that couldn't be better learned by reading it straight from Munger or Buffett or any of the other sources that are so heavily quoted. ...more
Olivier Goetgeluck
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing

"All I want to know is where I'm going to die so I'll never go there."
- Charlie Munger

There are roads that lead to unhappiness. An understanding of how and why we can "die" should help us to avoid them.

The best way to learn what, how and why things work is to learn from others.

"I believe in the discipline of mastering the best that other people have ever figured out. I don't believe in just sitting down and trying to dream it all up yourself. Nobody's that smart."
- Charlie Munger

Stephen Hultquist
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a very challenging read. It is dense, with vitally important insights packed on every page. How can we think clearly? Where do we find wisdom? Why do we trick ourselves?

All these questions and more are answered in these pages...

But, the book is organized so that you go through the steps of uncovering the mental processes first. It can be a slog at times, with so much learning when I just want to get to the "so how then do I live?" part...

That said, I think everyone with sufficient intell
Daniel Clausen
Oct 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-of-2020
Make no mistake about it: there is wisdom in this book. A lot of it. Though the book is heavily weighted toward the value-investing giants of Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet, there is also a lot of wisdom distilled from other sources, too.

The problem is that the book isn't quite a book...yet.

The sources the author uses are wonderful -- I broad range of practical business men and thoughtful scholars. But I would recommend going straight to the sources themselves. There is a danger that the aut
Raphael de Ocampo
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Seeking Wisdom is an engaging collection of insights across numerous fields. Ranging from psychology, biology, and even probability, the book engages the reader with new material at every page. Seeking Wisdom is a great introduction and reference to these ideas, and is ultimately a catalyst to further reading.

He who conquers himself is truly strong - Lao Tsu (Quoted in Seeking Wisdom)
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-must-reads
This is must re-read, have-it-around for regular reference book.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I ever read. Maybe there are many examples about business and investments, but I think this is a book about life.
Otis Chandler
Mar 06, 2017 marked it as to-read
Kevin highly recommended on instagram
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, wisdom, work
As the title promises, the book is full of nuggets of (worldly) wisdom. Lots of it is applicable directly in the context of work, investing, and in life. Even people already familiar with Charlie Munger's ideas will have lots of new take-aways. To be clear though, the book goes far beyond only Darwin and Munger.

One of my personal highlights from the book was this paragraph (p.177-178):
You see that again and again - that people have some information they can count well and they have other informa
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Missing punctuation and typos of simple words throughout the book made it hard to read.

The book is almost exclusively quotes, Peter Bevelin was less "author" and more "quote curator."

Do not recommend reading.
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece. Not a word extra. Dense. Had to read repeatedly to make sense of some parts.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The very terrific book, the one that you may open at any page and start reading. The book contains multiple sections: influences (lot of things correlating with Influence by Robert Cialdini) , physics and math, misjudgments, guidance to better thinking (checklists, worst scenarios etc). The book is literally packed with quotes from Buffet, Munger and many others. The final section is the compilations grouped by topics from Munger and Buffet talks and letters to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
I am not the intended audience for the book.

Most of the stuff I read in the book I already know, so I recognize the point he is trying to communicate.

However, I also know that for a person whom this knowledge would be beneficial, the author will not do justice in explaining these concepts to an uninformed person such that he will understand. It doesn't have the depth of understanding to inform the uninformed reader.

Also 70% of the material from the book is drawn from other books/material, so it
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: life-lessons
This book reads like information dump. It has a lot of valuable life lessons but it is organized in a highly dense and anecdotal vision that take away from its value. The reasoning is rigorous as it merely details the facts. If you are looking for an engaging read then this is not it.
Saikat Sengupta
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
Personally I did not like this book. This book is primarily based on the quotes of Charles Munger and Warren Buffet. Anyone who has read quotes of both of them would feel bored reading this book.
Bartosz Majewski
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fortunately, there is a lot more Munger than Darwin in Bevelin's book. This concluded my deep dive into Buffet's and Munger's minds. A really great, actionable book. The author took great effort into making it such. I have no idea why did the book was so expensive (shouldn't they print more copies?) but it was worth it. ...more
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is indeed gem but it has also some flaws.
The book has many interesting information from evolutionary biology to mental models to many checklist of identifying good business,stock selection etc.
Information and wisdom part are excellent.

This book is very good for one who wants to start his life from scratch or doesnt have any prior baggage of failure in life.

The real problem with the book comes how does it deal with failure.
As per Munger and buffet
Failure loses your credibility.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm in the process of reading this book now. Be warned, Peter Bevlin hasn't paid for a proper editor. I mean, I assume that the author knows the difference between "to and too," but page 82 would suggest otherwise. Make sure to follow Munger's advice as well, or you might have a "very louse career" (282). These sorts of errors are completely disreputable, and have heightened my skepticism about the entire book. Also, some of the writing has a hodge-podge feel to it, and in the Third Edition it f ...more
Alejandro Sanoja
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Can wisdom really be achieved? Can we really be wise? Or is it that we just can be a little less ignorant, a little less imprudent or thoughtless? “Seeking Wisdom” guides you from the most simple thoughts and ideas to others very complicated, and just when the complexity level rises so much that you feel you are close to that desired wisdom, it slams you to the ground back to the very basics, to the fundamentals, to sentences and quotes with few words but with infinite information; which is wher ...more
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ill science if you're looking to improve your own rational understanding of human behavior, psychology and strategic thinking. The historical references to great thinkers and Munger's 24 Standard Causes of Human Misjudgment alone make this worth a read. What's most interesting to see is Munger's own account of how he formed these relationships in building a greater latticework of understanding. ...more
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
My rating is no reflection on the author's book, writing or topic itself. It is based on my enjoyment of the book. A lot of the piecemeal scientific/mathematic information in the book I knew in more depth than was presented in the book so I didn't get much out of that part. I am not a CEO or an investor so the rest didn't appeal. I did get some good quotes though. ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
May contain wisdom but it is presented in a dull and boring manner. The only interesting parts of the book are the appendices which have a speech by Munger and longer paragraphs from Buffet and Munger's writings. ...more
May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
A very good book. It breaks the psyche down in a very rational way.
Corina Anghel
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great collection of thinking biases that can help us avoid misjudgments.
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Didn't help me think more clearly or help me gain wisdom at all ...more
Michael Sanders
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I think there's a lot of valuable information in here, but it became repetitive. ...more
Sanford Chee
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Part 1 'What influences our thinking' traces modern man's cognitive limitations and biases through the lens of evolution.
Part 2 'The psychology of misjudgements' has been better covered by Charlie Munger and more comprehensively dealt with in Donelli's 'Art of Thinking Clearly'

Part 3 'The Physics and Mathematics of Misjudgements' deals with more standard limitations of cognition
- Systems thinking: secondary and tertiary effects and unintended consequences
Boni Aditya
Feb 14, 2021 rated it liked it
It is a reference book, it is more of a collection of very important ideas from tons of books, and not really a book that takes time to explain each of them.

To better understand these mental models you better pick up each of those books and learn these models and first principles from each of them as opposed to assuming that you can pick up all of them by reading this one book.

This book will only help you recollect those models, in a quick and easy mode.

I have read almost half of all the books q
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how? 2 25 Aug 14, 2014 08:06PM  

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