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Psychology of Misjudgment #23: Twaddle Tendency:


LongHaul
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23. Twaddle Tendency:

 

"Man, as a social animal who has the gift of language, is born to prattle and to pour out twaddle that does much damage when serious work is being attempted. Some people produce copious amounts of twaddle and others very little."

 

"It’s called BS. Sometimes we talk, just to talk. Other times it’s because we think we know something, we actually don’t. So we try to fake it.

 

The solution: Understand your circle of competence and when you’re outside it, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.”"

 

 

CNBC comes to mind.

 

I guess we humans can all get confused when tons of bad or irrelevant information comes in and one has to sort through it all and make sense of it.

Can be a waste of energy too.

 

 

 

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The one thing I know is that I don't thoroughly know many things & that I'm inclined to prattle and am trying to minimize the resulting twaddle. Excluding this post.

 

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Can't remember the last time I watched CNBC.

 

Haven't used Twitter since 12 January 2020 at 0912 pm when they banned me for trolling someone. I just checked & the post is still up. I refuse to delete it. Grateful for the ban. (I occasionally click a link referenced here & will read the linked thread but that's it, no more hour long feed scrolling.)

 

All of my equity investments have been leaps of faith which I had somewhat convinced myself I understood. Nope.

 

The one investment that I've convinced myself I do know is my home. The location is excellent & it has prospects for a nice sale if I ever decide to give it up. The only hurdle I see in it is inflation vs valuation.

 

I'm reading Walpola Rahula "What the Buddha Taught" & have been meditating for at least 20 minutes a day, for the past month now. It's a concerted effort to start seeing the truth of things. The silence is deafening (in a good way).

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The one thing I know is that I don't thoroughly know many things & that I'm inclined to prattle and am trying to minimize the resulting twaddle. Excluding this post.

 

---

 

Can't remember the last time I watched CNBC.

 

Haven't used Twitter since 12 January 2020 at 0912 pm when they banned me for trolling someone. I just checked & the post is still up. I refuse to delete it. Grateful for the ban. (I occasionally click a link referenced here & will read the linked thread but that's it, no more hour long feed scrolling.)

 

All of my equity investments have been leaps of faith which I had somewhat convinced myself I understood. Nope.

 

The one investment that I've convinced myself I do know is my home. The location is excellent & it has prospects for a nice sale if I ever decide to give it up. The only hurdle I see in it is inflation vs valuation.

 

I'm reading Walpola Rahula "What the Buddha Taught" & have been meditating for at least 20 minutes a day, for the past month now. It's a concerted effort to start seeing the truth of things. The silence is deafening (in a good way).

 

Just bought the kindle version of the book, thanks for the recommendation.

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I did not give this one much thought when I first discovered Munger's essay but over time I realize how important it is to understand and give attention to.

 

The world is very complex and difficult to understand. The more you know, the more you realize how little you know.

 

We all act as if we know the answers and like to show people we do (excessive self regard & doubt avoidance). This is often twaddle especially if you do not know it as well as you think you do and therefore talk with certainty when you are wrong or at least incomplete in your assessment of your opinion.

 

Truth is we all engage in this to some degree whether we admit to it or not. Accepting that in itself is a good lesson to take from this if anything. One should try to guard against it in ourselves. First you look like an idiot to others that know better than you and second you are often pounding in the false or incomplete opinion in your own mind (we decide must hold it in our mind because we want to remain and seem consistent and trustworthy even to ourselves) which is more harmful than productive if you wish to be more rational in life.

 

Also we must be able to see it in others. People will talk just for the sake of talking and others will listen. Especially in today's age of shock awe fake news. It is influencing others who know less or more easily susceptible to group think. The key here is pointing out who is engaging in twaddle that is harming others and ignoring them or shutting them down.

 

Munger mentions it is important to keep those engaging in twaddle from interfering with those who know what they are doing and are doing serious work. This seems to be important more now than ever because everyone has a voice and its ability to be projected across large groups of people is more easier than it has ever been.

 

As for how it applies to business, you want to separate management that engages in twaddle from those that shun it both in themselves and in their business and culture. You want to feel confident they have the right employees in the right positions especially in a business whose model depends on adjusting and adapting to change quickly in a fast changing world.

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