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Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger (3rd ed.)

Peter Bevelin

Buy this book at Amazon.com or try Amazon.co.uk in England, Amazon.ca in Canada, Amazon.de in Germany, Amazon.fr in France, Amazon.it in Italy, Amazon.es in Spain. ASIN=1578644283, Category: Investment, Language: E, cover: HC, pages: 328, year: 2007.


Review [of the book's first ed.] © (2005) by IBS

The [1st ed. ] book was published in 2003 by Post Scriptum, Sweden, ISBN 9163136856, printed in Sweden, and the author, Peter Bevelin, lives in Sweden. (Previously, the book was also available under ISBN 1587991888.)

Quote from the introduction:
"This book is for those that love constant search for knowledge. I've focused on explaining timeless ideas. ... My goal is to lay a foundation."

There are four parts:

  1. What influences our thinking (about human behavior, evolution, adaption)
  2. The psychology of misjudgments (reasons)
  3. The physics and mathematics of misjudgement (about systems thinking, scale and limits, causes, probabilities, reliability, misrepresentative evidence)
  4. Guidelines to better thinking (about models of reality, rules and filters, quantification, backward thinking, risk, attitudes, ...)

I greatly enjoyed reading typical Mungerism in Appendix One (p228-231), Charles T. Munger Harward School Commencement Speech / June 13, 1986: Prescriptions for Guaranteed Misery in Life.
(Mungerism is not be be confused with Modestism; CTM doesn't fear to tell the truth but usually he expresses himself so intellectually weird that only initiates, i.e., those who are powered by thinking, can understand it.)

Appendix Two (p232-246), Wisdom from Charles T. Munger and Warren E. Buffett: is rather condensed wisdom (I don't know why the author used smallprint in the appendices) and consists mainly of selected quotes from Outstanding Investor Digest (OID.com) and WEB's letters to shareholders:
On how to change people, on the difficulty of replacing a CEO, on overconfidence, on the value of math, on advantage and disadvantage of scale, on how to get worldly wisdom, on what something really means, on setting goals, on the real risk of investing, on the difficulty of developing a fair social system*, ...

Who would have thought that Peter Bevelin references a well kept secret book written by George Boole and first published in 1854, ten books written by nobel laureate Richard Feynman, "The Crowd" by Gustave Le Bon? I was happy that Bevelin didn't make any reference to Lord John Maynard Keynes - one of the greatest speculators. Those who've read Adam Smith's "The Money Game" know the latter two.

*) maybe WEB didn't yet discover Rudolf Steiner's "Social Future", 1919.