Tricks to Achieve Wisdom & Happiness 94.2% Don't Know About - Charlie Munger | Caltech 2008【Ep.232】

Tricks to Achieve Wisdom & Happiness 94.2% Don't Know About - Charlie Munger | Caltech 2008【Ep.232】



CHARLIE MUNGER: Another trick that I got very early was that I love big ideas that had a lot of instructive power. And I like them so well that I didn't mind when they were in somebody else's territory, I just went in and took the ideas.

So I paid no attention to the territorial boundaries of academic disciplines and I just grabbed all the big – activity – ideas that I could. And then I use them in daily activity to solve problems and amuse myself and do self-education and so forth.

Well, that makes me a collector. I'm a collector of inanity and and I've cataloged the inanities – some structures in my head. And it's been a wonderful thing to do if you stop to think about it. How many unhappy collectors do you know?

Whether they collect silver or mistresses or – (Laughter) – you know, by and large, collectors are happy and collecting inanities is just wonderful. If you collect stamps the way I once did, I soon had a U.S. stamp collection, I couldn't afford to add a stamp to. Well, what fun is collecting when you can't afford to the next stamp?

When you're collecting inanities, there's never a shortage and there's all these little hanging fruit. We had one this morning from the governor of New York. (Laughter & Applause)


TOM TOMBRELLO: That was pretty expensive fruit.


CHARLIE MUNGER: And well, but – (Laughter & Applause) – And so, when you – this was just a wonderful activity and it's amused me and instructed me all my life.

And another thing that I got into when I did that was to be very interested in seeing how these ideas interplayed together. There is not big academic reward or worldly reward for integrating one discipline for a strange discipline with a strange discipline that's not your own.

So if you do it in your head, you're in a territory without much competition. Warren always says you should take the high road in life because it's less crowded. (Laughter) And this is a less crowded mental road in life and it really works.

And, of course, when you do that, you get into issues where ideas are in conflict. And of course, they demand synthesis. Well, a lot of people when they see a demand for synthesis immediately retreat into whatever orthodoxy they came from.

That's not the Munger, if there's two big powerful ideas and there's a terrible tension between them and synthesis is demanded. I look it up if I can and if I can't look it up, I try and figure it out. And if I have a little poor approximation, I use that for a few years until it gets better.



[YAPSS Takeaway]

Be a collector of inanity that's the mental high road in life. And when ideas are in conflict, learn to synthesis it and not retreat.

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