Charlie Munger's commencement address to the 2007 graduating class at the USC law school:
"Deliver what you'd want to buy if the circumstances were reversed"
"There's no love that's so right as admiration-based love, and that includes the instructive dead"
"Wisdom acquisition is a moral duty. It's not just something you do to advance in life."
"The skill that got Berkshire through one decade would not have sufficed to get it through the next decade with the achievements made"
"I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest -- sometimes not even the most diligent. But they are learning machines; they go to bed every night a little wiser than when they got up. And, boy, does that habit help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you."
"You can progress only when you learn the method of learning"
"Half of all the time he [Warren Buffett] spends is just sitting on his ass and reading. And a big chunk of the rest of the time is spent talking one-on-one, either on the telephone or personally, with highly gifted people people whom he trusts and who trust him."
"I listened in law school when some wag said, 'A legal mind is a mind that when two things are all twisted up together and interacting, it's feasible to think responsibly about one thing and not the other.' Well, I could see from that one sentence that that was perfectly ridiculous, and that pushed me further into my natural drift, which was into learning all the big ideas in all the big disciplines, so I wouldn't be a perfect damn fool who was trying to think about one aspect of something that couldn't be removed from the totality of the situation ."
"If you want to help India, the question you should ask is not, 'How can I help India?' It's, 'What's doing the worst damage in India. What will automatically do the worst damage, and how can I avoid it?' [...] Those of you who have mastered algebra know that inversion frequently will solve problems that nothing else will solve."
"Another thing I think should be avoided is extremely intense ideology, because it cabbages up one's mind. You've seen that. You see a lot of it on TV preachers, for instance. They've all got different ideas about theology, and a lot of them have minds that are made of cabbage. But that can happen with political ideology, and if you're young, it's easy to drift into loyalties, and when you announce that you're a loyal member and you start shouting the orthodox ideology out, what you're doing is pounding it in, and you're gradually ruining your mind."
"I'm not entitled to have an opinion on this subject unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people do who are supporting it"
"Checklist routines avoid a lot of errors. You should have all of this elementary wisdom, and you should go through a mental checklist in order to use it. There is no other procedure that will work as well."
"The game of life, in many respects, is getting a lot of practice into the hands of the people that have the most aptitude to learn, and the most tendency to be learning machines. If you want the very highest reaches of human civilization, that's where you have to go."
"This is not the highest form which civilization can reach. 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."
"In your own life, what you want is a seamless web of deserved trust."