If you don’t know who Charlie Munger is, then here’s a quick introduction. He’s a billionaire and he’s 93 years old. He’s not the oldest and he is not the wealthiest but when it comes to being the “oldest billionaire”, he doesn’t have any competition.
In other words, he has the two most coveted things in this world – wealth and a long life.
His advice to us – minimize stupidity. Remarkably simple, isn’t it?
The most effective way to follow Charlie’s advice is to learn from others’ mistakes. That’s where books come into the picture. They’re the best source of vicarious knowledge.
When humans first discovered that they could persist their words and other information in physical form, it was revolutionary. According to some historians, between the years 3500 BC and 3000 BC, ancient Sumerians from Mesopotamia civilization invented the first system for storing and processing information outside their brains.
In the timescale of millions of years of human evolution, this invention is pretty recent one. Irrespective of how trivial the ability to read/write sounds, it was nothing less than a disrupting technology when it came out. Probably thousands of talented Sumerians, who were employed for memorizing information, lost their jobs.
You don’t have to teach an infant how to swallow liquid or give walking lessons to a toddler. These skills are built into the human genome. But reading isn’t part of our DNA.