Happy Sunday!

I read an article a couple of weeks ago, titled How Not to Be Stupid. It is often said that common sense is anything but common. And Charlie Munger, the billionaire investor and long time partner of Warren Buffet at Berkshire, credits almost all his success to not being stupid. So it's a topic that's worth at least five minutes exploring.

The article is essentially a podcast discussion, summarised in a written format for easy consumption. Adam Robinson defined stupidity as "overlooking or dismissing conspicuously crucial information," and shared his idea of the seven factors that lead to stupidity:

  1. Being outside of your circle of competence
  2. Stress
  3. Rushing or urgency
  4. Fixation on an outcome
  5. Information overload
  6. Being in a group where social cohesion comes into play
  7. Being in the presence of an “authority.”

While one of those factors is powerful enough to make you act stupid in any situation, when you combine them, your chances of acting stupid dramatically increases. For example, if you're stressed, outside your comfort zone, overloaded with information and are rushing to meet a deadline, the chances are, you'll do something stupid.

This point really hit home when Adam explained that all seven factors of stupidity are present in US hospitals.

In the United States every year, there are roughly 30,000 fatalities from automobile accidents. That is a benchmark. How many deaths accidentally occur, accidentally, in hospitals every year? In other words, you go in with a broken arm and you don’t come out. Not, you died as a result of what you went in for. You died because of error, human error. I would tell you the current best estimate—this is deaths, mind you, not injuries—is 210 to 440 thousand people die every year in the United States from hospital error.

For something so easy to avoid, stupidity is all around us. Identifying and becoming aware of the risk factors will help you all in avoiding stupidity going forwards. Mind you, this is never going to be an easy task.

Have an awesome week ahead,
Samuel


Featured Article

Mental Models: Fallacies
Fallacies cause us to reach incorrect conclusions, with the facts presented. Awareness of these fallacies will improve our thinking and decision making.

Are You A High Agency Person? How To Respond When You Hear ‘No’

"“When you’re told that something is impossible, is that the end of the conversation, or does that start a second dialogue in your mind, how to get around whoever it is that’s just told you that you can’t do something? So, how am I going to get past this bouncer who told me that I can’t come into this nightclub? How am I going to start a business when my credit is terrible and I have no experience?”"

Read article


Expiring vs. Permanent Skills

The premise of this article is that there are two type of skills. Ones relevant during a certain period in time. And others that will be relevant thousands of years from now (like accounting). Expiring skills are cool, exciting and sort after. While permanent skills have been around a long time, which makes "them look stale and basic."

Read article


How and why do planes dump fuel – and is it dangerous to people on the ground?

I was curious about this question, so decided to do some background reading. Turns out that planes dumping fuel is actually quite common (and safe). Although there have been accidents where people on the ground are doused with jet fuel!

Read article


Tweet of the Week


This Week's Wisdom

"If you are not living your life for yourself, then who is going to live it for you?"

– In the book, The Courage to Be Disliked by Kishimi and Koga

I use readwise to resurface content I've previously highlighted. My followers can get an extra month for free by following this link.


Final Word

I’d love for you to share this email with a friend or two. I try to make this the best email you receive each week, and I hope you enjoy it. You can see all the weekly newsletters I have been writing here.

I’m also excited to grow and evolve this newsletter, making sure it remains relevant and helpful for all readers. Ideas, feedback, and suggestions are encouraged. Simply reply to this email, or drop me a DM on twitter @SamuelObe_


Subscribe below to receive new post updates the minute they are published. You will also receive my weekly newsletter, where I share interesting articles, books, quotes and lessons that I have learnt during the past week.