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Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin To Munger

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Peter Bevelin begins his fascinating book with Confucius' great "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-investor and Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charles Munger. A man whose simplicity and clarity of thought was unequal to anything Bevelin had seen. In addition to naturalist Charles Darwin and Munger, Bevelin cites an encyclopedic range of from first-century BCE Roman poet Publius Terentius to Mark Twain—from Albert Einstein to Richard Feynman—from 16th Century French essayist Michel de Montaigne to Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett. In the book, he describes ideas and research findings from many different fields. This book is for those who love the constant search for knowledge. It is in the spirit of Charles Munger, who says, "All I want to know is where I'm going to die so I'll never go there." There are roads that lead to unhappiness. An understanding of how and why we can "die" should help us avoid them. We can't eliminate mistakes, but we can prevent those that can really hurt us. Using exemplars of clear thinking and attained wisdom, Bevelin focuses on how our thoughts are influenced, why we make misjudgments and tools to improve our thinking. Bevelin tackles such eternal questions Why do we behave like we do? What do we want out of life? What interferes with our goals? Read and study this wonderful multidisciplinary exploration of wisdom. It may change the way you think and act in business and in life.

318 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2003

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Peter Bevelin

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5 stars
2,260 (52%)
4 stars
1,165 (27%)
3 stars
545 (12%)
2 stars
209 (4%)
1 star
113 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 259 reviews
45 reviews
January 3, 2014
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 seeking wisdom would be redundant for you. If you have read 'The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives' another 25% of the material in the book would be redundant. If you have taken a Master's level course in finance & investing or have worked in financial markets, another 15% of the material would be redundant for you. In rare cases, if you have read books such as 'The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Tales from Evolutionary Economics' and 'The Flaw of Averages: Why We Underestimate Risk in the Face of Uncertainty', whatever 10% stuff is left in the book would be repetitive. If you have read all the stuff mentioned above, this book is a good refresher of important concepts. If you haven't read the books mentioned above, this book may be nothing more than a text scratching the surface of tons of concepts. On that note, the book somehow is self contradictory where it talks about seeking wisdom but does exactly what prevents us from seeking it, i.e. shallow reading.
197 reviews5 followers
January 22, 2013

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 remain intact
Need to focus on the will to find out more than the will to believe
We overestimate the degree of control we have over events and underestimate chance
Goal is to make fewer mistakes than others and fix them faster
I have often regreted my speech but rarely my silence
Pascal's Wager: EV of believing = p(the value of being saved) + (1-p)(the cost of inconvenience) and the EV of not believing = p(the cost of being damned) + (1-p)(the value of living a normal life)=> If I lost I would have lost little. If I won I would have gained eternal life.
You tend to forget mistakes when reputation is threatened by remembering.
Eternel verities of the basics: basic math, basic horse sense, basic fear, basic diagnosis of human nature.
The brain can be developed the same way as the muscles can be developed
He is a great benefactor of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into short sentance that may be easily impressed on the memorary
I forget what I hear, I remember what i see and i know what i do
If you can't explain it simply, you don't know it well
The harder you work the more confidence you get but you may be working hard on something that is false.
Being wise is knowing what to overlook
4 Filters for investing: 1) Can i understand it 2) Does it have a sustainable competitive advantage 3) is management able and honest 4) is the price right
4 laws of business: 1) any org will resist any change in current direction 2) projects will materialize to soak up available funds 3) any desire of the leader will be supported by detailed analysis 4) behavior of peer companies will be mindlessly imitated.
Profile Image for Marcus.
311 reviews309 followers
December 3, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Olivier Goetgeluck.
138 reviews53 followers
August 25, 2014

"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

The best way to achieve wisdom is to learn the big ideas that underlie reality. [...] Even people who aren't geniuses can outthink the rest of mankind if they develop certain thinking habits.

"The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest minds of past centuries."
- Rene Descartes


The brain changes continually as a result of our experiences. Experiences produce changes in the brain either through new neural connections or through the generation of new neurons. Studies suggest that the brain can change even during the course of a day.

Experiences are the reasons that all individuals are unique. There are no individuals with exactly the same upbringing, nutrition, education, social stamping, physical, social and cultural setting. This creates different convictions, habits, values and character. People behave differently because differences in their environtment cause different life experiences. This is why it is sometimes hard to understand other people's behavior. To do that, we must adapt to their environment and share their experiences. (Consideration)

"Our life is what our thoughts make it."
- Marcus Aurelius

It is not what happens to us that counts - it's what we think happens to us.

Studies show that a placebo can improve a patient's condition simply because the patient expects it will work. Clinical evidence shows placebos to have physical effects on the brain, just as drugs do. Studies in Sweden show a placebo activates the same brain circuits as painkilling drugs.

If people expect something to go wrong with their health, it often does. Negative expectations can influence our bodies and cause symptoms that over time may cause our body harm.

Beliefs have biological consequences - good and bad.

=> Control your beliefs. Align them with your goals.

Human beings have spent more than 99% of their evolutionary history in the hunter gatherer environtment. If we compress 4 million years into 24 hours, and if the history of humans began at midnight, agriculture made its appearance on the scene 23 hours and 55 minutes later.

Only behavior that is selfish or for the mutual good is in an individual's self-interest and therefore favored by natural selection. Some behavior may under certain conditions look like altruism but can often be explained by self-benefit. Social recognition, prestige, fear of social disapproval, shame, relief from distress, avoidance of guilt, a better after-life or social expectations are some reasons behind "altruistic" acts.

"Our fears are always more numerous than our dangers."
- Lucuys Annaeus Seneca

Fear guides us to avoid what didn't work in the past. It activates hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which keeps us attentive to harm since we need full attention to escape from a threat.
The degree of fear we feel depends on our interpretation of the threat and our perception of control.

What we fear and the strength of our reaction depends on our genes, life experiences, and the specific situation. You may react instinctively at first, but if the situation is one that you've experienced before (since our brain is continuously "rewired" with life experiences), the final reaction may be to calm down. The more we are exposed to a stimulus, even a terrifying one, the higher our threshold of fear becomes.

=> "Always do what you fear." - R.W. Emerson; to get used to the 'fearful' situation

To learn what works and does not or what is good or bad for us means we have to explore.

Recent studies suggest that the brain responds to novelty.

For example, many animals, for foraging, start with a random search, and only change their behavior when they find a rewarding stimulus. Then they move towards it.

=> Explore to learn what works. Then do more of it.

Finding new ways to deal with the world is superior to overtraining old patterns.

Studies suggest that we learn better when we mix new information with what we already know.

=> Increase "complexity": learn new things/movements/skills/words/people every day

Our brain is wired to perceive before it thinks - to use emotion before reason.

=> False perceptions.

Male brain vs female brain
The brain exists to make better decisions about how to enhance reproductive success. Reproduction is the central act in the life of every living thing.

It is a natural tendency to act on impulse - to use emotions before reason. The behavior that was critical for survival and reproduction in our evolutionary history still applies today.

Cultural evolution vs genetic evolution
Cultural evolution is faster than genetic evolution since it allows much of what we learn to be passed on and combined with what others around us have learned. Unlike biological evolution, cultural evolution is not inherited. We don't inherit our parents' habit. We learn from them.

"Men's natures are alike; it is their habits that carry them far apart."
- Confucius

=> Nature you inherit. Habits you can develop.


List of 28 reasons for misjudgements and mistakes

1. Mere Association

We move towards stimuli we associate with pleasure an away from those we associate with pain.

We tend to dislike people who tell us what we don't want to hear even when they didn't cause the bad news, i.e. kill the messenger. This gives people an incentive to avoid giving bad news.

Individuals are neither good nor bad merely because we associate them with something positive or negative.

Encourage people to tell you bad news immediately.

Past experiences are often context dependent.

Create a negative emotion if you want to end a certain behavior. If you want someone to stop smoking, one way could be to show them what they stand to lose.

2. Reward And Punishment

"The iron rule of nature is: you get what you reward for.
If you want ants to come, you put sugar on the floor."
- Charlie Munger

Give people what they desire (or take away something undesirable) and their behavior will repeat.
Give they something undesirable (or take away whay they desire) and their behavior will stop.
In the beginning, rewarding (or punishing) is most effective when it is administered without delay and each time the behavior is repeated.
Once behavior becomes learned, variable rewards strengthen the behavior.

"The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken."
- Samuel Johnson

After a success, we become overly optimistic risk-takers. After a failure, we become overly pessimistic and risk-averse.

Good consequences don't necessarily mean we made a good decision, and bad consequences don't necessarily mean we made a bad decision.

This automatic association to what worked in the past causes people to under-react to new condition and circumstances.

Praise is more effective in changing behavior than punishment. It is better to encourage what is right than to criticize what is wrong.

Set examples: "We do not improve the man we hang: we improve others by him." - Michel de Montaigne

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it."
- Upton Sinclair

Warren Buffet on business goals:

Goals should be:
(1) tailored to the economics of the specific operating business
(2) simple
(3) directly related to daily activities

Reward individual performance and not effort or length in organization. Reward people after and not before performance.

Don't let money be the only motivation. If we reward people for doing what they like to do anyway, we sometimes turn what they enjoy doing into work. The reward changes their perception.
The key is what a reward implies. A reward for our achievements makes us feel that we are good at something thereby increasing our motivation. But a reward that feels controlling and makes us feel that we are only doing it because we're paid to do it, decreases the appeal. Blase Pascal said: "We are generally better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others."

Have systems that make it hard for people to get away with undesirable behavior. Make undesirable behavior costly.

An example of a really responsible system is the system that the Romans used when they built an arch. The guy who created the arch stood under it as the scaffolding was removed. It's like packing your own parachute.(Skin In The Game/Neck On The Line ~ Nassim Taleb)

3. Self-Interest And Incentives

People do what they perceive is in their best interest and are biased by incentives.

"My doctor gave me 6 months to live. When I told him I couldn't pay the bill, he gave me 6 more months."
- Walther Matthau

People who are rewarded for doing stupid things continue to do them.

Studies show that teachers help students cheat on standardized tests when their jobs or pay increases depend on the outcome of the tests.

"Whose bread I eat, his song I sing."
- German proverb

How can we change people? Since the risk of losing is more motivating than the chance of gaining, we stand a better change changing people if we appeal to their fear of losing something they value - job, reputation, status, money, control, etc.

Changing people affects their motivation, feelings of responsibility, and tendency to reciprocate. It is better when people act out of their own free will.

Understand people's motivations. Money, status, power, envy?

People's interests are not only financial. They could also be social or moral. For example, public embarrassment, social exclusion, conscience, shame or guilt may cause people to stop some undesirable behavior.

"Do not train boys to learning by force and harshness, but lead them by what amuses them, so that they may better discover the bent of their minds."
- Plato

It is better to convince people by asking questions that illuminate consequences.

4. Self-Serving Tendencies And Optimism

We can't all be better than average.

People tend to put higher probability on desired events than on undesired events.

Experiments show that when we are successful (independent by chance or not), we credit our own character or ability.

When we fail, we blame external circumstances or bad luck. When others are successful, we tend to credit their success to luck and blame their failures on foolishness.

"If the only tool you have is a hammer, you approach every problem as if it were a nail."
- English proverb

Experts love to extrapolate their ideas from one field to all other fields. They define problems in ways that fit their tools rather than ways that agree with the underlying problem.

"An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while the pessimist sees only the red stoplight. The truly wise person is colorblind."
- Dr. Albert Schweitzer

How well do you know what you don't know?

"It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent."
- Charlie Munger

Focus on what can go wrong and the consequences. Know how you will handle things when they go wrong.

Consider people's actual accomplishments and past behavior over a long period of time rather than first impressions.

5. Self-Deception And Denial

We deny and distort reality to feel more comfortable, especially when reality threatens our self-interest.

On gurus:
We believe something is true because it sounds believable or we want to believe it, especially with issues of love, health, religion, and death. This is one reason why people follow gurus. They encourage followers to trust their hearts and forget their heads.

When the cost of denial is worse than the benefit of facing reality, we must face reality.

6. Consistency

The more we have invested in our behavior the harder it is to change.

We behave in ways that are consistent with how others see us. If people label us as talented, we try to appear talented whether or not it is true.

"What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact."
- Warren Buffett

We are most consistent when we have made a public, effortful or voluntary commitment. The more public a decision is, the less likely it is that we will change it.

In the low-ball technique, the salesperson gives the customer an incentive to enter into an agreement with the intention of changing the terms to the seller's advantage.

In the labeling technique, people try to get us commited by first applying a label to our personality or values that is consistent with the behavior they want us to take.

Foot-in-the door technique:
How do people seduce us financially, politically or sexually? They makes us agree to a small request, so small no one would refuse.

When people get us to commit, we become responsible.

How do we get people to take inner responsibility for their actions? Make it voluntary. We take responsibility for our behavior in cases when we are interanlly motivated by satisfaction or interest, when we feel in control, and when we are free from incentives or outside pressure.

If we can get people commited in advance, they tend to live up to their commitment.

Be self-critical and unlearn your best-loved ideas. Search for evidence that disconfirms ideas and assumptions. Consider alternative outcomes, viewpoints, and answers. Have someone tell you when your thinking is wrong.

7. Deprival Syndrome

One reason why horse races, bingo and these things have always been so popular is because of all these near misses. Frequent near misses are like small reinforcements and make us want to try again and again.

"All these feelings. And it has no impact whatsoever."
- Warren Buffett

We want and value more what is scarce and unique.

How do we create demand? Create competition.

Know your goals and options. Ask: Why do I want this?

"Captain Cook served sauerkraut to the officers, but not to the men. And then, finally he said, 'Well, the men can have it one day a week."

8. Status Quo And Do-Nothing Syndrome

Deciding to do nothing is also a decision. And the cost of doing nothing could be greater than the cost of taking an action.

Remember what you want to achieve.

9. Impatience

We are impatient in the short run and patient in the far away future.

Consider both the short and long-term consequences of a decision. Weigh present good/bad against future good/bad. Short-term suffering may lead to long term pleasure.

10. Envy And Jealousy

"Man will do many things to get himself loved;
he will do all things to get himself envied."
- Mark Twain

It is people similar to us we envy most.

"There is nothing so disturbing to one's well-being and judgment as to see a friend get rich"
- Charles P. Kindleberger

Studies show that how happy we are is partly determined by where we stand in relation to similar others.

As long as you achieve your goals, it shouldn't matter if someone else does better.

Studies show that it matters whether we believe that others deserve their success.

"The best way to avoid envy is to deserve the success you get."
- Aristotle

11. Contrast Comparison

How we value things depends on what we compare them with.

Evaluate objects and people by themselves and not by their contrast.

12. Anchoring

"I always set low targets to exceed expectations."

Consider choices from a zero base level and remember what you want to achieve.

Adjust information to reality.

13. Vividness And Recency

Information we receive directly, through our eyes or ears has more impact than information that may have more evidential value.

Information that moves us emotionally makes us pay greater attention to the event itself than to its magnitude. Statistics rarely spark our emotions. An individual face and name will.

Sometimes we believe an event has increased in frequency because we see it more. But the media may only cover it more.

We give too much weight to information we've seen, heard, read or experienced most recently.

Accurate infomation is better than dramatic information. Back up vivid stories with facts and numbers.

Ask: is it relevant?

14. Omission And Abstract Blindness

We often both choose and reject options that are of a more striking or complex nature over average ones.

Consider missing information. Know what you want to achieve.

15. Reciprocation

Whenever someone does something for us we want to do something back.

We make a concession to people who have first made a concession to us.

People don't want to feel indebted. We are disliked if we don't allow people to give back what we've given them.

A favor or gift is more effective when it is personal, significant, and unexpected.

Give people what you want in return from them. Ask: Assuming others are like me, how would I like to be treated if the roles were reversed?

16. Liking And Social Acceptance

"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated."
- William James

We like people who compliment us - true or not - and make us feel special.

"Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours."
- Benjamin Disraeli

People believe we have the same personality as those we associate with.

Create an external common threat or an opportunity for mutual gain.

Asking a favor of someone is likely to increase that person's liking for us.

"He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged."
- Benjamin Franklin

17. Social Proof

"If 40 million people say a foolish thing, it does not become a wise one."
- Somerset Maugham

Since everybody else wants it, we assume there has to be a reason.

We trust testimonials from people that we see as similar to us.

"What the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end."
- Warren Buffett

"I'd rather be wrong in a group than right by myself." (Sheeping)


We have a tendency to not act in situations where we are uncertain if there is danger and when we don't feel individual responsibility. Also when we want to avoid embarrassment and when we're among strangers. The more people, the more reduced we see our own responsibility.

A bystander to an emergency is unlikely to help when there are other people around.

When we are uncertain, we have a tendency to look at people around us to see how they react. If others don't react, we interpret that as evidence that it is not an emergency.

Pluralistic ignorance: "Since nobody is concerned, nothing is wrong. It can't be an emergency."

Diffusion of responsibility: The more people there are, the less personal responsibility we feel.

So, how should we act if we are involved in an accident in a public place and need help? We should be specific. "You there, in the blue shirt. This is an emergency. Please help me!"

"Gentlemen, I take it we are all in complete agreement with the decision here. Then, I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what the decision is all about."
Profile Image for Stephen Hultquist.
Author 3 books2 followers
May 31, 2011
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 intelligence should read this book. It takes a certain intelligence to be able to read it at all, but if you can follow it, it will change your life.
Profile Image for Pavel Annenkov.
442 reviews113 followers
May 24, 2023
Детальный разбор наших заблуждений и ошибок в бизнесе и жизни. Автор использует принципы, по которым ведёт бизнес Чарли Мунгер - партнер Баффета. Его основа в том, что вероятнее всего мы достигнем успеха, если просто перестанем совершать большинство ошибок, которые часто сводят на нет все наши предыдущие достижения. В книге много цитат от Баффета, Мунгера, Фейнмана и других умных людей, чья жизнь показывает, что их подходы работают и выдержали проверку временем.

Питер Бевелин конечно проделал большую работу, собрав в одном месте мысли умнейших людей последних столетий. Книга очень системная. Каждая глава посвящена разбору одной ошибочной ментальной модели. Дальше идут советы великих, что делать, чтобы не попасть в эту психологическую или поведенческую ловушку.

Одна из лучших книг, которые может прочитать предприниматель.

Книга уже давно у меня настольная. Перечитываю ее каждый год и часто возвращаюсь к ней, когда надо разобрать какую то сложную ситуацию. Особенно после очередной ошибки:)

Важнее уметь распознавать и избегать ошибки, чем делать умные вещи.

Освежить в памяти ключевые ментальные модели поведения и мышления.

Лучше избегать ситуаций в бизнесе, когда приходится менять своих сотрудников или бизнес-партнеров. Люди не меняются.

В большинстве ситуаций люди действуют исходя из своих личных интересов, а не из альтруизма.

Надо создавать в бизнесе такую систему, где каждый сотрудник всегда отвечает за последствия своих решений.

У людей лучше всего получается интерпретировать всю новую информацию так, чтобы все их предыдущие убеждения и выводы оставались верными.

При обсуждении любого сложного вопроса надо использовать правило «Трех почему?». Отвечая третий раз на вопрос «Почему?» мы наконец увидим реальную ситуацию.

В бизнесе надо создавать систему в которой сложно украсть. Если в компании украсть легко, то таким образом мы портим людей, давая им повод совершить неправильный поступок.

В итоге нам надо научиться совершать меньше ошибок, чем обычный человек и уметь их быстро исправлять.

- Буду как можно чаще возвращаться к чек-листам и опросникам в конце книги для проверки своих бизнес-гипотез и анализа сложных ситуаций.

Peter Bevelin «All I Want to Know Is Where I’m Going to Die So I’ll Never Go There»
Profile Image for Maher Razouk.
673 reviews188 followers
January 11, 2021
نحن نلاحظ أشياء معينة ، و نهمل الأشياء الأخرى ... نختار أن نتكلم عن الأشياء المذهلة و ليس عن الأشياء العادية ... نرى الصدفة بعد أن تحدث وليس قبل حدوثها ، لكن الأحداث الغريبة تحدث دائما ، عندما تتوفر لها الفرص الكافية للحدوث !!

هذا ما يقوله (بيتر بيفلين) في كتابه (seeking wisdom) و يضيف بأنه في مجموعة مكونة من (23) شخص ، تكون نسبة فرصة تواجد شخصين لهم نفس المواليد حوالي 50.7%
و كلما ارتفع العدد ، تزداد الفرص !!

يقول الصحفي المختص بالعلوم (مايكل شارمر) :

" البشر كائنات روائية و باحثة عن النمطية ، نحن نبحث عن الأنماط في حيواتنا ، ثم نسرد القصص حولها حتى نعطيها معنى "

يقدم (بيفيلن) المثال التالي : لو قذف (جون) العملة المعدنية (6) مرات ، قد يظهر الاحتمالين :
(A) = 623514
(B) = 666111
عندما نرى النتيجة ، نميل إلى رؤية النمطية في الخيار (B) ، لكن في الحقيقة كلا الاحتمالين لديهم نفس نسبة الحدوث !!

نحن نسعى إلى المنطق في كيفية حدوث الأشياء ، ولذلك نحاول أن نفهم النمط وراء حدوث أي شيء . من المحتمل دائما أن نجد النمط في أي شيء لو دققنا جيدا ، ولكن بالمقابل لا يمكننا التنبؤ بتلك الأنماط !!

و تحت عنوان فرعي (الإيمان بالمعجزات) ، يقول (بيفيلن) :

نحن نهمل كل المرات التي لم يحدث فيها شيء ، و ننتبه فقط إلى المرة التي حدث فيها شيء مذهل ... على سبيل المثال :

(ماري) تفكر بأن تتصل بصديقتها (جيل) ، و في نفس اللحظة تتصل (جيل) ... (ماري) أهملت كل المرات التي فكرت بها في (جيل) و لم تتصل (جيل) ... كذلك أهملت كل المرات التي لم تفكر بها في (جيل) و إتصلت (جيل) ... و أيضا أهملت كل المرات التي لم تفكر بها في (جيل) ، و لم تتصل (جيل) !!

لكنها بالتأكيد لم تهمل تلك المرة التي فكرت بها في (جيل) و اتصلت (جيل) بنفس اللحظة !!

Profile Image for Daniel Clausen.
Author 11 books469 followers
October 13, 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 author has simply cherry-picked the sources and that the reader will miss out on the full wisdom of the authors used for this book.

Other reviewers have commented that the book is kind of an information dump. One could also characterize it as an "all about" essay, since it lacks focus. I would say it's more like a young thinker's outline. If a thoughtful undergraduate or young graduate student tried to organize all of his lecture notes into an outline, it might look something like this.

That doesn't make it bad. It just doesn't necessarily make it a book.

Missing is the author's voice. Missing is a coherent theme or topic.

What does it mean to be wise?...I have my own ideas, but the idea is never tackled directly in this book.

I think if you are looking for a guide to basic business wisdom, a book like "Personal MBA" by Josh Kaufman might be a great place to start.

Since a great many of the sources, especially the appendix, is weighted toward value investing, I would recommend a book like "The Buffetology Workbook" for those looking to get started on value-investing.

For the more scholarly and philosophical materials, I think just a good reading list or introductory textbooks to psychology, philosophy, and evolutionary biology might be better for you. These sources would certainly be more representative.

If the book could be thought of as a first draft, then perhaps the book would be better off aiming towards being a complete liberal arts education in a single volume. Something like: "The Personal Liberal Arts Education" -- four years of higher education in a single volume. [A cursory review of books with "liberal arts" in the title tells me that this would probably be un-wise business sense.]
Perhaps that wouldn't sell as many copies as "Personal MBA", but it would be enormously valuable for anyone who read it. Such a book would have to focus a little bit more outside of business and value investing.

Another approach to making this draft more of a book would be to make it more about value investing. Perhaps: "The Deeper Wisdom of Value Investing: Applying the Secrets of Value Investing to Everyday Life" or perhaps an even better title (and shorter) "Value in Everything: Applying The Wisdom of Munger and Buffet to Everyday Life".

One last thought -- I couldn't find any information on Peter Bevelin. Perhaps he is a scholar who likes his privacy. Perhaps he is a value-investor who just likes to word-smith here and there. Whoever he is, he is has a good first draft going...Why not keep going?

Here is some wisdom from a fellow writer: one draft is never enough!
38 reviews
March 20, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Raphael de Ocampo.
23 reviews5 followers
August 19, 2019
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)
Profile Image for Toma.
72 reviews13 followers
July 15, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Peter.
24 reviews19 followers
December 10, 2016
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 information much harder to count. So they make the decision based only on what they can count well. And they ignore much more information because it's quality in terms of numeracy is less - even though it's very important in terms of reaching the right cognitive result. All I can tell you is that around Wesco and Berkshire we try not to be like that. We have Lord Keynes' attitude, which Warren quotes all the time: "We'd rather be roughly right than precisely wrong." In other words, if something is terribly important, we'll guess at it rather than just make out judgement based on what happens to be easily countable.

Being a professional data scientist, this is something to always remind myself of. Perhaps even more so for anybody who calls themselves "data-driven" (i.e. a naive empiricist). To not become like the drunk man looking under the lamp post for his lost keys.
Profile Image for James.
64 reviews15 followers
February 18, 2016
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 feels kind of a cop out to just be reading material from other books and quotes by other people to explain "wisdom."

Would be good as a starting point for the rational thinker, but wholly lacks the depth and explanation to help someone think for themselves.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
14 reviews14 followers
March 22, 2014
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.
Profile Image for Hriday.
59 reviews42 followers
August 19, 2018
A masterpiece. Not a word extra. Dense. Had to read repeatedly to make sense of some parts.
Profile Image for Eugene.
157 reviews16 followers
July 8, 2017
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.

it is the best business book i've read so far and would highly recommend to anyone.
Profile Image for Vasiliy Sikorskiy.
86 reviews7 followers
May 28, 2022
One of the best books I've ever read. I'm really surprised, that there is no russian translation of the book. It's from the same row as Ray Dalio's Principles. The next big task is to make a system for using all the knowledge from this masterpiece.
Profile Image for Eugene Kernes.
471 reviews22 followers
September 26, 2022
Mistakes provide information on how to resolve them. It is a mistake to not correct the mistake. Reality is complex and mistakes cannot be eliminated, but preventative measures can be taken to mitigate the harm. To understand mistakes requires an understanding of how information is processed. Understanding the process of thinking requires recognizing the various influences on thoughts, and the misjudgments that are made. Knowing the influences and thinking traps, provides information on how to avoid the misjudgments and improve thinking. Knowing the influences also facilitates an understanding on how others think, and behave.

The physical existence provides some limitations to understanding and thinking. The mind and body are interconnected, for expectations are converted into a biochemical reality. Thinking is shaped by interactions with the world. Experiences change how the brain is wired. Individuals have different values and ways of thinking because they had different experiences. Different experiences that can create difficulty communicating values.

The Shaping of Experiences:
The brain microwires itself continuously in response to experiences. Nobody has the same micro wiring of the brain because of different life experiences. Different life experience makes individuals unique. No individual has the same experiences with life’s various factors. Different experiences produce different outcomes in values and character. Making it difficult to understand other people’s behaviors, because they have different understandings. To understand others requires the near impossible, adapting to their situation and experiences.

Brain connections develop, change, and weaken depending on the experiences. The more similar the experiences, the more connections made about those experiences making it easier to remember and learn within those experiences. Experiences become stored representations of behavior and their outcomes, that are used within forthcoming situations.

Emotions impact judgements. Better to wait after an emotional event, before making decisions. As emotions influence behavior, they need to be understood. Attributing negative emotions upon a behavior can reduce the behaviors appeal and usage.

Evolutionary Competition:
Conflict arises due to limited resources. Competition is a form of conflict that influences the distribution of the resources. Environment changes within regions and time, changes the success of forthcoming decisions. People need to adept to the changes, which can change biology and social infrastructure. Evolutionary changes can be quick, but complex development requires a lot of time and variation.

For humans, survival depended on cooperation within the society which provides incentives for cooperative behaviors and informational exchanges. Within groups, Individual weaknesses could be compensated by other individuals or group behaviors. Cultural evolution is usually much faster than genetic evolution. What has been learned by the community gets passed down, and combined with even more learned information. Culture is something that is learned, while genetic biology is inherited.

Humans are not driven by happiness, but harm avoidance. Ancestral trial and error taught that more pain could be avoided by being fearful. That avoiding even false alarms provides less pain than failing to detect threats. Surviving dangers by learning how to respond.

What that means is humans are more sensitivity to pain, and remembrance of negative stimuli. Pain aversion encourages interpretation of choices and events with favorable values. Which includes a preference for reasons that already support internal belief system.

Planned Uncertainty:
Uncertainty and unknowns make people feel uncomfortable. Categorizing ideas simplifies complexity and makes the ideas easier to recognize, differentiate, and understand. Understanding the complexity leads to information as to why things happen, which facilities predictions about the future. Predictions about the future are based on patterns within events. Knowing the patterns reduces uncertainty and increases comfort.

What is known is important to remember, but there is an attraction to new information and novel experiences. Brain is stimulated by novelty. The potential rewards obtained from the yet unknown motivates a search for exploration. To make discoveries and learn.

Knowledge of the past can guide decisions, but the context of those decisions has changed, which requires taking into account the difference between present and future conditions and consequences. Past experiences are valid for similar conditions. As conditions change, past experience cannot readily be used for predictions, because the consequences will be different. Hindsight makes everything seem obvious and simple, but the forthcoming events have a lot of variability in outcomes and random chance.

The future cannot be known until it happens. What we know about the future, are just historical trends projected forward. Exact probability is only possible in situations where all possible outcomes are known, and the outcomes are equally likely. The probabilities could be obtained given a large number of trials. Even within probabilities, there are basic rules.

Planning does not eliminate intended or unintended consequences. Uncertainty about causes and outcomes prevents complete anticipation of events. Consequences depend on contingent events. Planning uses models, which can provide a false sense of certainty which increase chances of mistakes. Some systems have a lot of know factors in which formulas are easily fillable. Some systems have a variety of hidden factors and many more contingent causes.

Checklists are a form of planning, but their usefulness depending on context, reducing reliance on memory for needed information, are usable, and are in sync with reality.

Because of uncertainty, and other factors, there is a preference for immediate gratification at the expense of the future. Paying more for the contemporary reward.

How To Change Behavior:
Effective change comes about when individuals take internal responsibility for the change. Leading to discovery of ways on how they can help themselves, rather than by pressuring them to help themselves. Asking questions can provide information on behavioral consequences, which causes the individual to think for themselves. Finding their own reasons to change.

Individual responsibility should be for upside, and downside. People need to take accountability of their actions. Taking individual responsibility by thinking for oneself rather than delegating thinking to others. Diffusion of responsibility through more people reduces the personal responsibility creating a situation where everyone seems responsible but nobody is actually responsible.

Changing behavior is more effective when individuals are praised, rather than punished. Encouraged to do what is right, then disapprove of what went wrong. Create incentives depending on what is wanted to be achieved. Know the factors that determine needed results such as differences between skill and chance. Properly ascertaining situational factors and individual roles can determine what needs adjustments. Failure can be due to a poorly designed system, rather than a culprit.

What happened, already happened and cannot unhappen. Punishment is meant to provide a warning to others, so that others can avoid doing the same error, or stop repeat offences. Others are changed by what happens to others.

Internal responsibility makes people more committed, and therefor harder for them to give up. Hard to change after investing a lot of effort into something. Change would require accepting wasted effort. By being consistent, pain of accepting a loss can be avoided. When decisions are challenged, people become defensive and even more committed to their ideas. Public statements make people more committed therefor unlikely to change. If the idea might need to change later, better to avoid making them public.

Explanations makes persuasion and behavior modification easier because the reasons for the change become understood. Logic has limits in persuading people to change their minds. Appealing to emotions can also change behavior.

As humans want to belong to groups, social approval is an effective behavioral modification device. Reciprocity is a social responsibility. Individuals want to give back when someone else has given them something.

Error Correction:
The sooner bad news is shared, the sooner the problems can be corrected. By knowing what can go wrong and the consequences, can preventative measures be taken. Preventative measures such as a margin of safety. Preventing something from happening usually requires less effort than solving something. Knowing what to avoid reduces mistakes.

The challenge is not to deceive oneself, because self-deception is easy. Usually, individuals deny or distort reality to become more comfortable, especially when the identity and self-interest are threatened by reality. Rather than bend reality to suit understanding, bend understanding to suit reality. Ignoring unpleasant facts does not make them disappear. Bad news informs of what is needed to be changed. Need to face reality when the costs of denial are larger than benefits of facing reality.

Confirmation bias prevents people from discovering where their ideas are wrong, and therefore prevents learning how to correct them. Need to search for disconfirming evidence, and unlearn wrong ideas. Need to consider alternative understandings. An objective outsider can provide a guide to what is wrong. Opposition can provide very valuable feedback, such as describing errors.

Unreal expectations are caused by overconfidence. Overconfidence in expectations creates conditions for becoming vulnerable to disappointment. Overconfidence in abilities can lead to disaster when trying to overcome limits. Understanding limitations means understanding capacity.

By Association:
Associations can be misleading. People are more complicated than simply all good or evil. Motivations are complicated and are not simply financial. Social and moral motivations influence behavior.

First impressions do not provide much information. Appearances do not determine the character of the individual. An appearance can be a social mask. Decisions about people should be made by what was actually accomplished, and their past behavior.

Contrast distorts how information is perceived. Comparisons tend to attract successes over failures. Comparisons should be limited to oneself past and present. Comparisons with others creates internal friction. If goals are achieved, how other faired should not matter. Then again, internal frictions such as envy or greed can motivate a response that benefits the individual and society.

There is a conflict of interest when someone provide information that can improve the individual which, in which someone benefits from individual’s use of that information. Cannot readily trust those that have a conflict of interest. Those in authority have their own conflicts of interest which induces them to not want the best for the individual. Expertise can be faked. Statements should be evaluated based on their underlying facts, not to personal qualities of whom is delivering the statements.

Informational Awareness:
Shared information draws attention, while missing information tends to be ignored. Need to search for alternative explanations and consider missing information. The digital age has provided more access to information, and misinformation. More information does not necessarily lead to having more knowledge or making better decisions.

What is being presented on the news is subject to biases and vulnerabilities. The media can be manipulative and use deception. When considering information, need to consider the normal outcomes of similar situations. Better to have accurate information than dramatic information. Facts need to be provided for vivid stories. Within events, need to figure out the difference between meaning and noise.

Evidence of confirmation carries more weight than lack of evidence against an idea. Evidence can cause a variety of explanations, rather than a single explanation. Seek evidence that is contrary to the selected explanation.

Members within a group have different motivations, information, and interpretations. Need to create an environment where everyone is able to speak and openly disagree. That can come about when preventing social pressure.

Knowledge is only useful if there is someone who can perceive the information being signaled. Information is useless without a perceiver. Names to ideas are not knowledge for to understand something require knowing what happens. Meaning about size comes about in relation to other related objects. Miscommunication occurs when the speaker and responder are using the same words but with different implied meanings.

Specialists know a lot about their information, but not other pieces of information that are important. Specialization means a lack of range in ability. As problems and ideas do not stick to just a specialization, need to compensate by acquiring important ideas from various disciplines. Gather ideas from other disciplines, and figure out their reliability. Knowledge does change, but there is no need to question important ideas until evidence arrives that they are wrong. Learning and re-learning are a lifelong journey.

To Act, Or Not To Act:
Decisions are not limited to action. Waiting and doing nothing, is a decision. There are costs to acting, or not. Doing something is not necessarily what obtains results. If outcomes are inappropriate, then do not do what causes the outcomes. Avoiding bad behavior by inactivity, is a very active activity.

If something displeases the individual, the individual should not do that to others. Popularity does not mean righteousness. No need to do displeasing activities just because others are doing them.

Solvable problems could be corrected, therefore no need to worry about them. Problems that cannot be resolved means that there is no reason to worry about them either because nothing can be done about them.

This book is a collection of succinct summaries of various influential ideas. To understand each idea would require more research. More detailed accounts of the ideas can be found in their original sources.

There are a variety topics and thinkers, but they are concentrated within business economics, and a few individuals.

The claims and ideas can be contradictory. Having the same idea, but in a different context produces different conclusion. The sporadic placement of similar ideas makes even complimentary ideas appear contradictory.

An example of contradictory claims is recognizing the value of hearing out the opposition, but in another context asking to disregard what others are saying or doing. A complimentary claim that appears contradictory explains that doing nothing is an activity in has the connotation of facilitating action, but then asking not to confuse doing something with results.
Profile Image for Rishabh Srivastava.
152 reviews162 followers
December 30, 2020
This is a really hard book to summarise. It took me around 20 hours to read, and much longer to digest its contents.

The book starts off with a list of cognitive biases that we have, then talks about how and why we make poor decisions, and finally gives guidelines for better thinking. It's incredibly information dense (my summary of the book was nearly 5000 words) and contains useful advice to prevent yourself from making bad decisions.

Strongly recommended if you're into this kind of thing!
302 reviews217 followers
September 27, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Debjeet Das.
Author 13 books23 followers
November 3, 2020
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.
failure or being totally blown up is an utter disgrace,
all must hand walk toe to toe with the persons who has min failure and abundant success.

I have had many many failures in life andi am still struggling but if everyone starts to isolate me i be dumped into garbage. My take on failure is
1 your past action must not guide your future direction
2 everyone goes through process of degeneration and regeneration.

The book deserves 5/5 for abundant knowledge,too impressive information and very comprehensive checklist and + are far greater than -.
103 reviews4 followers
July 1, 2018
يهتم كتاب البحث عن الحكمة كما هو ظاهر من العنوان بتقصي أثر الحكمة انطلاقا مما عايشه الكاتب من تجاربه و تجارب محيطه. ناهيك عن استيقاء معانيها من سير و فلسفة حكماء التاريخ، من بينهم عالم البيولوجيا و مبدع نظرية التطور الإنجليزي تشارلز داروين Charles Munger و ِتشارلز مونجر Charles Munger واحد من أهم المستثمرين ورجال الأعمال اليوم و الشريك الأول لوارين بافيت Warren Buffett.

ارتكز الكاتب في كتابه على أقوال و كتابات عدد كبير من المفكرين العالمين، من أمثال الشاعر اليوناني تيرينتيوس Publius Terentius، الأديب الساخر مارك توين Mark Twain، الفيزيائيان ألبرت أينشتين Albert Einstein و ريتشارد فينمان Richard Feynmann، ناهيك عن المفكر الفرنسي ميشيل دومونتين Michel de Montaigne و المستثمر و رجل الأعمال الأمريكي وارين بافيث Warren Buffett.

هذه التشكيلة من المرتكزات جعلت الكاتب يصول و يجول بين مختلف الثقافات و الخلفيات ليجمع لنا هذه الحكمة المترامية الأطراف في كتاب لا تتجاوز صفحاته الثلاثمئة صفحة.

ينقسم الكتاب إلى أربعة فصول :

الفصل الأول :

يرتكز هذا الفصل على الغوص في ملهمات التفكير مجيبا عن سؤال : ما الذي يلهم تفكيرنا ؟

أغلبنا سمع المقولة القائلة أن كل ما هو سيكولوجي مرده لتفاعلات بيولوجية، و إن كان العقل المفكر منبع الأفكار، المخاوف و الأحاسيس فوجب البدء به و استكشاف مكموناته و طريقة عمله. يستطرد الكاتب بعدها في بيان أن طبيعتنا ترتكز على خلفيتين : الخلفية التطورية التي تهدف بالأساس إلى حفظ العيش و التكاثر بالدرجة الأولى، و الخلفية الثقافية التي ترتكز على تجارب الحياة و صعوباتها. و من هنا نخلص لاستثنائية البشر بعضهم عن بعض. و أن الشبيه المثالي ما هو إلا أسطورة.

“Our fears are always more numerous than our dangers.”
– Lucuys Annaeus Seneca
“مخاوفنا دائما أكثر بكثير من مخاطرنا”
– سينيكا
الفصل الثاني :
هذا الفصل مخصص بصفة خاصة لسيكولوجية الأحكام المجحفة و مسبباتها.
يسرد الكاتب في البداية 28 مسببا لإساءة الفهم و الأحكام المجحفة و يتوسع بكل واحدة على حدى معززا المحتوى بتجارب من علم النفس.
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you approach every problem as if it were a nail.”
– English proverb
” إن كان كل ما تملكه هي مطرقة، فإنك ستواجه كل مشكلة على أنها مسمار”
– مثل إنجليزي.
الفصل الثالث :
ماذا يحدث لو حاولنا تفسير ما سبق في الفصل الثاني بعيدا عن علم النفس، لكنهذه المرة استنادا على قوانين الفيزياء و الرياضيات، هنا نحن على موعد مع تفسير نظم التفكير، التفكير المنطقي، الأرقام و معانيها، الإحتمالات … و إسقاط كل هذا على عالم الأعمال.
الفصل الرابع :
خطوط عريضة لتفكير أفضل، يقدم الكتاب للقارئ مجموعة من الإقتراحات و الأساليب لتطوير طريقة تفكيره ة تحسينها. على سبيل المثال لا الحصر، تطرق الكتاب لنماذج الواقع، البحث عن المعنى الحقيقي للشيء، التبسيط، الأهداف، العواقب، البدائل، ….
ما يعيب الكتاب هي كثرة الإقتباسات المزعجة أحيانا، لكن إن نحن ركزنا على المحتوى فالكتاب يحتوي على أفكار مهمة جدا، للمهتمين بالحكمة و بشكل خاص كيفية ترجمتها إلى واقع معاش، سواء في الحياة الخاصة أو العملية.
Profile Image for Boni Aditya.
313 reviews885 followers
February 15, 2021
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 quoted in this work, but the list is extremely large.

As such I have learned very little that I don't already know, at this point of time, after investing time to read books related to mental models and also investing 20+ years to learn almost all the models in physics, maths, chemistry, biology, management, finance and economics. There is very little in terms of mental models that the author could throw that could surprise me, at this point of time. May be it would a great source of learning if I had picked up this book , a decade ago.

But here is a list of works from which the author derives.

Wonderful life

Dinosaur life

Cockroach papers

Why we get sick

Antanio demacio - descartes error

The blind watch maker

How the mind works
Descent of man - Charles darwin
Fear itself.

Minds past

Moral animal.

The selfish gene

The Prince.

The ostrich factor.

The case for modern man.

When genius failed.

The sign of four - Sherlock Holmes

Truth of science.

Rational choice in an uncertain world.

The skeptical essays
Culture and value - Ludwig
Theory of moral sentiments

Maniacs, panics and crashes

True believer
The effective executive

The crowd - Gustav

Two cultures and the scientific revolution.
Sherlock Holmes problem of thor bridge

All marketers are liars.
7 sins of memory

Genome - Matt Ridley.

Stress without distress.

Art of mathematics

One upon wall street.
In defence of history.
On growth and form

How we know what isn't so
Against the gods

The psychology of speculation.
Hi tech start up

You only have to get rich once

Beyond numeracy

Micheal Schumer - skeptic

Silver blaze - Arthur Conan Doyle

History of western philosophy

Carl Sagan: life in cosmos
Problems of philosophy

Scientific conversations
Black swan

Two new sciences

The theory of investment value.

No ordinary genius - Feynman

Buffet, the making of an American capitalist.

The man with a broken lip - Arthur Conan Doyle
2 reviews
December 27, 2014
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 feels as if Bevlin simply added scattered facts to the old framework without making any systematic revisions—the result is a jarring and inconsistent read. Add to this the fact that Bevlin is sometimes vague to the point of meaninglessness, and the book suffers from a profound lack of editing.

I paid $70 for this book (I ordered it to Canada), and in return I got a couple hundred pages with elementary spelling and grammar errors throughout. Also, I know this book isn't academic, but some references would be nice (the appendix contains references for quotations, but not the studies). I was exhausted reading "Studies show" for the thirty-fifth time (Page 10 onwards). Ever heard of footnotes? Please point me to the direction of these studies, so I know where you got this information; it's not enough to simply assert that "Studies show" X or Y or Z. Does Bevlin mean there is one study, or do dozens show these results?

On the whole, the content is interesting, and I appreciate the fact that someone has tried to synthesize Munger's wisdom, but the writing is often vague, and as I mentioned it sometimes contains unacceptable errors. Moreover, perhaps the biggest fallacy is the premise of the book itself—that a rich person must be right about everything, because he is rich. Consider the rich people who are often precisely wrong, and nonetheless came to their wealth through privilege or good fortune. Munger is certainly smart, but I wouldn't assume he's right about everything. I admire Munger, but not everything he's ever said.

My apologies Bevlin, I know that many others loved your book.
Profile Image for Alejandro Sanoja.
313 reviews12 followers
May 10, 2015
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 where the real wisdom is, in the most simple things. Peter Bevelin takes you to the highest level of wisdom that you can achieve, which by the way you had when you where a kid and you’ve lost it in the way of becoming an adult. He will take you back to that constant state of curiosity, which will lead you to a permanent vigorous mind.

It hints you that wisdom may not be a destination, or an accumulation of knowledge, but it’s more like a way of thinking, a very mindful way of living and using your brain as a tool. The ideas in the book will be useful to prevent your brain from having its way and be on autopilot controlling your thoughts, emotions and actions. This book will help you take back that control, first it will make you be aware of your limitations so you can make the most out of your “circle of knowledge” and after that you’ll hopefully be able to expand it.

I’d dare to say it is almost like a sacred book, which must be read several times in a lifetime, and every time you’ll read it will seem like a different book and you’ll also be a different person. It goes from hard science to common wisdom and knowledge, It can be read lightly or it can be studied thoroughly. You’ll get what you desire out of it, and it will get the very best out of you. It will transform you into an avid listener, so that you can really learn as much as you can from every experience and from every person you meet.

If I had to pick one book to read for the rest of my life, at this moment, I would without doubt pick “Seeking Wisdom” by Peter Bevelin.
Profile Image for Mario.
112 reviews35 followers
December 28, 2013
Este libro lo tiene todo: evolución, psicología, matemáticas, modelos mentales...

Se trata de una sustanciosa guía para evaluar decisiones financieras y de inversión pero tranquilamente se pueden aplicar todos estos conocimientos a otros aspectos de la vida cotidiana.

El libro está dividido en cuatro grandes partes (siendo mis favoritas la segunda y la tercera):
1) Qué influencia nuestro pensamiento?
2) La psicología de los juicios erróneos
3) Física y matemáticas de los juicios erróneos
4) Modelos para un mejor pensamiento

No me canso de recomendar este libro. Si usted amigo lector se dispone a leer algo en los próximos días, por favor que sea Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin To Munger
Profile Image for Le Nhan.
33 reviews1 follower
February 9, 2017
Mình đọc bảng tiếng việt prc được tạm dịch bởi cherry phạm, vì bản tiếng anh quá mắc. Trước hết cảm ơn dịch giả đã có tâm dịch cho người việt, nhưng không thể phủ nhận chất lượng dịch "rất tệ" với đa số đoạn không thể hiểu n���i.
Tuy nhiên, cuốn sách quá tuyệt vời với những ý "khai sáng đầu óc", khiến mình đọc phải bất ngờ. Nó đi từ sinh học, lịch sử sang tâm lý, toán học xác suất và kinh doanh, góp phần giải thích bản chất con người và chỉ ra cách sống tốt hơn.
Một cuốn sách rất hay cho ai "seeking wisdom".
Profile Image for Henrik Haapala.
540 reviews91 followers
September 8, 2023
A treasure of concepts and ideas to improve life and decision making. Some great quotes. One of the more unique books in my library.

Relevant for anybody who wants to think like an investor or improve any area of life with the right thinking process.

“The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations.”
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