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A Dozen Ways Charlie Munger Thinks like Philip Tetlock Suggests in his New Book Superforecasting



Philip Tetlock has written a fantastic new book entitled: Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction that I strongly suggest you read. In the book Tetlock identifies a “rough composite portrait” of a what he calls a “superforecaster” and to me it looks like a picture of Charlie Munger. In my post this week I identify statements from Charlie Munger which I believe fit the Philip Tetlock profile.


  1. Munger: “It’s kind of fun to sit there and out think people who are way smarter than you are because you’ve trained yourself to be more objective and more multidisciplinary.” “I would argue that what Berkshire has done has mostly been using trivial knowledge…if you absorb the important basic knowledge…and you absorb all the big basic points across a broad range of disciplines, one day you’ll walk down the street and you’ll find that you’re one of the very most competent members of your generation, and that many people who were quicker mentally and worked harder are in your dust.” “Isn’t reality multidisciplinary, so that you have to use the tools of all the disciplines to solve the complex problems?”


Tetlock: “[Foxes (as distinguished from hedgehogs)] pick and choose their ideas from a variety of schools of thought.”


  1. Munger: “What I’m against is being very confident and feeling that you know, for sure, that your particular intervention will do more good than harm given that you’re dealing with highly complex systems wherein everything is interacting with everything else.” 


Tetlock: “Reality is infinitely complex.”


  1. Munger: “If you don’t get this elementary, but mildly unnatural, mathematics of elementary probability into your repertoire, then you go through a long life like a one‑legged man in an ass‑kicking contest.”


Tetlock: “[Be] probabilistic. Judge using many grades of maybe.”


  1. Munger: “You can progress only when you learn the method of learning.” “I think it’s dishonorable to stay stupider than you have to be.”


Tetlock: “[Be] intellectually curious”


  1. Munger: “Any year that passes in which you don’t destroy one of your best loved ideas is a wasted year.”  


Tetlock: “Beliefs are hypotheses to be tested, not treasures to be guarded.”


  1. Munger: “Bias [arises] from the non-mathematical nature of the human brain in its natural state as it deal with probabilities employing crude heuristics, and is often misled.” “what are the factors that really govern the interests involved here rationally considered (i.e. macro and micro level economic factors) and what are the subconscious influences where the brain at a subconscious level is automatically forming conclusions (i.e. influences from instincts, emotions, cravings, and so on)”


Tetlock: “Check thinking for cognitive and emotional biases.”


  1.  Munger: “You can learn to make fewer mistakes than other people- and how to fix your mistakes faster when you do make them.”


Tetlock: “[Be] reflective- introspective and self-critical.”


  1. Munger: “Not drifting into extreme ideology is a very, very important thing in life.”


Tetlock: “[Don’t be] wedded to any idea or agenda.”


  1. Munger: “Your brain doesn’t naturally know how to think the way Zeckhauser knows how to play bridge. That’s a trained response.” 


Tetlock: “Believe it’s possible to get better.”


  1. Munger: “You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.”


Tetlock: “Consider other views…. “


  1. Munger: “You must know the big ideas in the big disciplines and use them routinely—all of them, not just a few. Most people are trained in one model . . . and try to solve all problems in one way . . . This is a dumb way of handling problems.”


Tetlock: “Value diverse views.”


  1. Munger: “The only way to win is to work, work, work, work, and hope to have a few insights.”


Tetlock: “[Be] determined to keep at it no matter how long it takes.”




Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0804136696/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0804136696&linkCode=as2&tag=valueinves08c-20&linkId=MNXIFQUUJMSLDKDK

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