Tuesday, August 18, 2015

destroying your ideas

“And one of the great things to learn from Darwin is the value of extreme objectivity. He tried to disconfirm his ideas as soon as he got ’em. He quickly put down in his notebook anything that disconfirmed a much-loved idea. He especially sought out such things. Well, if you keep doing that over time, you get to be a perfectly marvelous thinker instead of one more klutz repeatedly demonstrating first-conclusion bias”

-- Charlie Munger

Of all the mental models imparted by Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio), seeking disconfirming evidence is probably one of the hardest ones to implement due to human ego. Our tendency to justify away disconfirming evidence and to simply deny the existence of disconfirming evidence is strong, which makes actively seeking disconfirming evidence almost against human nature.

Keep in mind that the goal is not to seek disconfirming evidence for everything. You only need to seek disconfirming evidences for the most important things – the main drivers of your thesis – the factors that actually move the needle.

I’m going to end this article with another great quote from Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio):

"We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side."

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