Thursday, October 22, 2015

Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger On Generalists vs. Specialists

From 25iq's "A Dozen Ways Charlie Munger Thinks like Philip Tetlock Suggests in his New Book Superforecasting":
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?”
HT: Abnormal Returns

Long time readers know we are fans of Charlie and have been known to quote him from time to time.
Here's one I call the upper-management-all-purpose turnaround:

"Think about it a little more and you will agree with me because you're smart and I'm right."

--Mr. Munger quoted in "Damn Right: Behind the Scenes with..."

You can use it in almost any situation where you want to stop the little smart-asses from piping up without breaking their spirit.

Most of our Tetlock links can be found in this post:
Credit Suisse's Mauboussin: "Sharpening Your Forecasting Skills"