The Worldly Wisdom Project

One thing I do every day is read. Mainly I focus on books, but I’m also a big consumer of academic journals and blog/news articles from people whom I respect. Although I have earlier focused on business literature I have over the last couple of years drifted more towards other areas of knowledge. Psychology, history and biology are currently my three favorite areas other than pure business literature. The reason behind this drift is that I have become a firm believer of the power behind the notion of seeking worldly wisdom. Compounding worldly wisdom is in my opinion the single best prescription for creating better mental models that will help you succeed both in investing and in your everyday life. For this revelation I only have one person to thank, the one and only Mr Charlie Munger.

What is elementary, worldly wisdom? Well, the first rule is that you can’t really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and bang ’em back. If the facts don’t hang together on a latticework of theory, you don’t have them in a usable form. – Charlie Munger

One thing that I have noticed over the years, and I think you agree with me, is that when finished reading most books or articles there were a few key takeaways that you feel really stod out and that you truly adapt to your own thoughts and behavior. In other words, takeaways that you successfully apply to your latticework of worldly wisdom. It is here important to note that what I’m getting at is the definition of acumulating knowledge. One of my favorite academic articles about knowledge creation is by Nonaka (1994) who defines knowledge as “justified true belief.”. In contrast, information according to Nonaka is not anchored to the commitment and belief of the holder.

With the above in mind I have decided for 2017 to start a little project here on the blog that I call The Worldly Wisdom Project. The purpose of this project is for me to collect and share takeaways of worldly wisdom that I find in different articles and books. I hope this can be of interest, if not it will at least serve my own goal and purpose of creating a better system to collect and store worldly wisdom.

As I don’t want this to turn out to be the typical book/article review and at the same time not diluting the thought behind worldly wisdom I have decided on a very simple and strict structure for the project. I will limit myself to posting maximum five worldly wisdom’s per book/article. The five worldly wisdoms will take form as either quotes or paraphrases. The worldly wisdom’s I include are going to be the ones that I feel to be the most insightful and unique.

Tomorrow I will publish the first post of the The Worldly Wisdom Project. It will include five worldly wisdom’s from the book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. I’m really excited to share my worldly wisdome takeaways from this book with you! Before that I wish you all the best for the last day of 2016 and a happy new 2017!

3 thoughts on “The Worldly Wisdom Project

  1. I think this is a fantastic idea. I was actually planning something like this myself. My problem is that everything I read becomes blurry over time to the point where I can’t tell you the author let alone the main takeaways of my favourite books.

    Do you have recommendations or maybe a process in place that solves this problem for you? I am convinced that I should work on this issue first before consuming any more wisdom that will deteriorate and is only accessible by my subconcious mind.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

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  2. Thanks for your comment and kind feedback P.T. I’m glad to hear that you think the idea is worth pursuing 🙂

    I hear you, I share the exact same experience regarding the blurriness that comes in to play over time and when you read a lot. The way I approach it nowadays is to collect notes while reading. What I also try to do is be extremely selective in the notes I take. For some books this is very easy and for some extremely difficult. If I find it difficult it is often a result of very good book/article. Therefor, if I find it extremely difficult I make sure I re-read the book/article after a while and re-think my selection of notes. But selectively collecting notes while reading and once in a while go back to this library of notes is my own prescription for not letting the really important worldly wisdom fade away.

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts on this. I guess in the past I focussed too much on effective processes in business and forgot about improving my internal processes, this needs to change in 2017 😉

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