Collection: Charlie Munger - #90 'Confusion From Say-Something Syndrome'



Then I’ve got mental and organizational confusion from the say-something syndrome. Here, my favorite thing is the bee, a honeybee. A honeybee goes out and finds the nectar, and he comes back, and he does a dance that communicates to the other bees where the nectar is, and they go out and get it.

Well, some scientist who was clever, like B.F. Skinner, decided to do an experiment. He put the nectar straight up. Way up. Well, in a natural setting, there is no nectar way the hell straight up, and the poor honeybee doesn’t have a genetic program that is adequate to handle what he now has to communicate.

You’d think the honeybee would come back to the hive and slink into a corner, but he doesn’t. He comes into the hive and does this incoherent dance, and all my life I’ve been dealing with the human equivalent of that honeybee. And it’s a very important part of human organization to set things up so the noise, and the reciprocation and so forth of all these people who have what I call say-something syndrome don’t really affect the decisions.



[YAPSS Takeaway]