Thursday, February 11, 2016

Improving rationality...

Someone over at the Corner of Berkshire & Fairfax posted their question and Charlie Munger's answer from yesterday's Daily Journal Meeting this is worth repeating here as well: 
Hi Charlie, I'm JD from Phoenix. At Berkshire last year you said that rationality was one of the things that was most important to you. What advice can you give to someone who's looking to improve his own rationality? 
Charlie Munger: Well I say if you start working at it young and keep doing it until you're as old as I am, that's a very good idea. It's a very good idea, and it's a lot of fun-- particularly if you're good at it. I can hardly think of anything that's more fun. I think I have a lot of cousins in this room, and--and I can say you're on the right track. 
You don't have to be the Emperor of Japan to get fun out of rationality. You can avoid a lot of hopeless messes, you can help other people scramble out of their messes, you can be a very constructive citizen if you're always rational. And being rational means you avoid certain things. It's like, I don't want to go where the standard result is awful. 
Where is the standard result awful? Try anger. Try resentment. Try jealousy. Envy. All these things are just one-way tickets to hell. And yet some people just wallow in them. And of course it's a total disaster for them and everyone around them.