Thursday, May 5, 2016

Drinking and Intellectual Independence

Just as it would have been interesting to have a vegetarian president (Ben Carson) and see what kind of influence that had on American diets, it would be interesting to have a President who doesn't drink (let alone drink and drive):

For Trump, teetotaling was ingrained in him by his older brother Fred, who struggled with alcoholism.

"I learned a lot from my brother, Fred," Trump told Forbes. "He set an example. It wasn't, maybe, the example that people would think, but it really was, in its own way, an example. That here was this fantastic guy, who got caught up in the alcohol, and he ultimately died from alcoholism."

"I used to say that I didn't drink because of Fred, I would never drink."

Linked from that article was this one, which had a quote from Warren Buffet that I really appreciate:

Warren Buffett: You don't need a lot of brains in this business. I've always said if you've got an IQ of 160, give away 30 points to somebody else, because you don't need it in investments. What you need is emotional stability. You have to be able to think independently, and when you come to a conclusion you have to really not care what other people say. Just follow the facts and your reasoning. That's tough for a lot of people. But that part, I was just lucky with. I was born that way.

SF: But what was that extra thing? So many will acknowledge that, and yet, as we saw in the current crisis, they panicked while you went into seemingly potential disasters like GE and Goldman Sachs.

WB: I can't really tell you. I didn't learn it in school or anything. It never bothered me if people disagreed with what I thought, as long as I felt I knew the facts. There's a whole bunch of things I don't know a thing about. I just stay away from those. I stay within what I call my circle of competence. Tom Watson [IBM founder] said it best. He said, "I'm no genius, but I'm smart in spots, and I stay around those spots."

Emphasis added.


If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not Honor more.

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