Charlie Munger on the highest form of civilization

Found this excerpted here:

The highest form that civilization can reach is a seamless web of deserved trust. Not much procedure, just totally reliable people correctly trusting one another.

That’s the way an operating room works at the Mayo Clinic. If a bunch of lawyers were to introduce a lot of process, the patients would all die.

So never forget, when you’re a lawyer, that you may be rewarded for selling this stuff, but you don’t have to buy it. In your own life, what you want is a seamless web of deserved trust. And if your proposed marriage contract has forty-seven pages, my suggestion is you not enter.

There are often times where it's pointed out that people don't trust and, most frequently, that lack of trust is at least somewhat deserved and unsurprising.

Random links

Peace, Poverty and Betrayal
An excerpt from the book subtitled "A New History of British India" from a review: "This short charge sheet differs from the extensive accusations made by modern left-leaning historians, who recognize economic exploitation but choose instead to emphasize cultural issues, especially the bureaucratization of Indian society and the introduction of capitalist norms. This is hardly fair, because the progressive middle classes in India would have done broadly the same things if they could. Almost nothing of the imperial administrative agenda was undone in independent India."
Child-Adoption Matching: Preferences for Gender and Race
"girls are consistently preferred to boys, and Caucasians and Hispanics are consistently preferred to African-Americans. In monetary terms, the increase in desirability of a girl relative to a boy can be compensated by a decrease of approximately $19, 500 in adoption finalization costs. Similarly, the increase in desirability of a non-African-American baby with respect to an African-American baby (both of unknown gender) is equivalent to a decrease of at least $38, 000 in adoption finalization cost." I've mentioned this before regarding abortion, but evidence for sex-selection out of certain sub-communities seems opposite to what you often find asserted.
In Defence of the Bad, White Working Class
"the willingness to expose your wounds is another sign of privilege. Those for whom injury has a use-value will display their injuries; those for whom woundedness is a survival risk, won’t. As a consequence, middle-class grievances now drown out lower class pain. This is why the wounded lower classes come to embrace conservative discourses that ridicule middle-class anguish. Those who cannot afford to see themselves as disadvantaged are instinctively repulsed by those who harp on about disadvantage. ... I grew up in violent environments. For people like me, ‘symbolic violence’ or ‘offensive speech’ were, if anything, a benign alternative to real violence and real hate. It was often registered as a joke—or yes, banter—because we understood its relative harmlessness."

On the comparative life expectancy of Black Brits and Canadians

This is from Dan Gardner's Don't Trust The Trust Decline, talking about how others may make incorrect assumptions about the world by making assumptions from watching American-focused media:

I’m very confident that most people assume that black Britons also have shorter life expectancies than white Britons. They don’t. In fact, the average black Briton from the Caribbean lives a little longer than the average white Briton, and the average black Briton from Africa has a much longer life expectancy — longer even than the life expectancy in Japan, which is among the world’s highest. (Similarly, all-cause mortality is lower among black Canadians than white Canadians. I doubt I’ll ever read that in the Toronto Star, although I will read headlines like this.)

Random links

The Uneven Impact of Generative AI on Entrepreneurial Performance
"high performers benefited by just over 20% from AI advice, whereas low performers did roughly 10% worse with AI assistance. Exploratory analysis of the WhatsApp interaction logs shows that both groups sought the AI mentor’s advice, but that low performers did worse because they sought help on much more challenging business tasks."
Stalin’s ism
"And yet, the Finns, mounting a defense on skis, managed for an astonishing time to hold off Soviet forces. They also showed great ingenuity—for instance, posting portraits of Stalin on targets so no Soviet soldier would dare shoot at it."
How to make space-based solar power a reality
Will be interesting to see if this becomes more common. It's definitely been talked about for a while.
Quantitative risk assessment of the effects of climate change on selected causes of death, 2030s and 2050s
"Climate change will have some positive impacts on human health. There are likely to be reductions in cold-related mortality and morbidity in high-income populations. ... The effect of cold temperatures is therefore not modelled in this assessment."


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