This is an "in process" piece, where I'll be adding things to it as I go back through the book.  So check in later (tickle it on your calendar so you won't forget) to see what has been added, plus there will be some links into related materials also.

Thanks to FarnamStreetBlog (highly recommended), which urged me to pick this book up, despite its cost.

The book:  Seeking Wisdom, From Darwin To Munger, Peter Brevelin.

Goes into some detail in certain areas that you might want to selectively skip over (and/or go back later) plus has you going a little further at times in terms of thinking than you may feel like at the time - but every bit is worth it.

Although in talking about tools and principles some of it applies to investing, one should really substitute "life" or "life payoffs" in there to convert it to wisdom about life - all the truisms fit! 

Thoughtful, deep.  Based on actual truth rather than "made up truths" (alot of "wisdom" books make up stuff to fill the holes in their reasoning and/or facts). 

This book makes clear that we should do critical thinking to be effective in life, but it is much more than that.

This book digests wisdom for you.  He has tested and screened "what works" so that you don't have to read a bunch of old philosophy books and wisdom books.

What follows is its table of contents, abbreviated, with some additional links that could be useful.


Part One.  What Influences Our Thinking?

Without nailing down what causes our behaviors (and our results in life), one cannot be nearly as effective in life.  Invaluable, essential, and very accurate!!!!!

I have some similar comments and conclusions in the Behavior Management section, specifically in The Causal Chain For Behaviors.

Part Two.  The Psychology Of Misjudgments

Although Part Four deals with critical thinking, it is vital to understand how we misthink and misjudge for psychological reasons - so we make more mistakes than are needed.

Much of this is reinforced with another great book, summarized at The Believing Brain, on how we construct beliefs and then reinforce the nonsense!

Part Three.  The Physics And Mathematics Of Misjudgments

Everything is a system (in the real world).  In the real world there is always cause, which we need to understand in order to make a judgment, but also we need to know how to predict outcomes with reliability and no false beliefs.  This section is the critical thinking section, with the next section more about how to think.

Part Four.  Guidelines To Better Thinking

No kidding!  We do need to create models of reality to operate from and we need to know what "meaning" is, as that is the purpose of the whole game.  And the models must be based on knowledge of "how things actually work", such as in Your Mechanical Brain/Body - Summary .  Along the way we need to set goals, use evidence, reason "backwards", and consider risks to make a better decision - and it is decisions that determine life!!!

Appendix One.  Charles T. Munger speech on prescriptions for guaranteed misery in life.

Absolutely, tells you what to avoid - which may be half of the battle!

Appendix Two.  Wisdom From Charles T. Munger And Warren E. Buffett

Although some of the discussion might be couched in investment language, these are equally applicable to living a good life, with a good "return" on investment (efforts and time).

Appendix Three.  Probability

Actually, although this appears to be pretty mathematical, it is worth slogging through, as there are some simple items with some very simple examples that drive the point home.  A mini-course, in about 8 pages.

It should jiggle your brain loose from some beliefs (and senses of what occurs) so that you avoid some serious mistakes. 

Appendix Four.  Checklists

Amen!  This is one of the greatest effectiveness devices, though most people don't realize it!  (This is not actually, per se, in a checklist format, but more of a listing, so I will convert some of them to an actually checklist, so that you have more of an inclination to look at each one since you will be checking each one off as having been done or followed.)  (See Procedures And Checklists For Maximum Productivity, Greater Ease, Greater Effectiveness and Checklists For Running Your Life - Check Up Quickly, Be Reminded Of What To Do.)

The book is a "deep read".  Some people may prefer to do the sequence listed in Wisdom - Contents, Links

A "must"!

The following is about maximizing satisfaction units in life - not about money!

Believe it or not, this audio course from The Great Courses, I bought at "70% off" ($24.95).

Thinking Like An Economist - Lots of simple examples. A path to making better LIFE decisions. It'll help you avoid alot of mistakes!!!! 

See, on this site, Economics - The Philosophy - "The Maximization Of Units Of Satisfaction" - The real purpose of economics is personal value, not money!  This will link into a little mini-course that I'll be devising in pieces to put together "Life Economics".

Read the pieces linked in the discussion!

For the search engines to pick up:

I posted a review of this on Amazon, under my nickname KahunaKeith, although it is listed as Kahuna Keith.