Collection: Charlie Munger - #235 'Can We Fix The Social Sciences?'



[Transcript]

CHARLIE MUNGER 00:00

Now, get to a really interesting question. Can we fix the social sciences?


So they aren't such total horses asses – (Laughter) – and the answer is yes. Is it likely to happen? The answer is no.


It will happen eventually because – well here I'm going to lose my humility pride – I had a guy in the Harvard Law Review ahead of me, he said to me once in the course of an argument, he said, "Charlie think about it for a while and you'll agree with me because you're smart and I'm right." (Laughter)


Well, the liberal arts are going to come to the Munger system in due course because they're smart and I'm right. (Laughter) It can be done better, but it can't be done better with a crazy reward system that allows people to be as silly as they are in many departments.


I always liked the story of PJ O'Rourke who said you know, he says the last communist dictator of Albania was a pure communist and he finally threw out the Russian Embassy because they lost the pure faith.


Many kicked out the Chinese Communists because they'd lost the pure faith and he say, finally, he was only comfortable with two places in the world. One was the Communist dictator of North Korea, and the other was the English Department at Yale. (Laughter)


Well, you think I'm kidding but – (Laughter) – there is a lot of extreme craziness in some of the liberal arts and they select people who share their craziness. And it is not necessary that academia tolerate forever, this lack of multidisciplinary competence. It's not that hard.


If some aging untrained fat old man can do it. (Laughter) You know, surely the young brilliant liberal arts people can do it. It will take a different and said even a different system, it might even be the place like Caltech could do it, but they'd have to get a rather unusual person to do it for them.


(Source: https://youtu.be/S9HgIGzOENA)

 

[YAPSS Takeaway]

  • People will be silly, when there Is a crazy reward system that allows them to be silly.

  • Problems can be solved if they're smart and you're right.