Charlie Munger delivered the 2007 Law School Commencement address at the University of Southern California on May 13th. Munger is a guru in the original sense of the Sanskrit word, a person who conveys wisdom. He begins the talk with “Safest way to get what you want is to deserve what you want.” The transcript of the talk is worth reading very very slowly. Take this line near the end, “The highest form a civilization can reach is a seamless web of deserved trust.”
There are too many lines that need highlighting. So I will just post the entire transcript below.
Anyone who knows me soon realizes that I have few heroes, and I consider most entities of the human persuasion to be at least mildly stupid, if not outright moronic. Prof Richard Dawkins makes the very short list of my heroes. I am proud to say that I have even met him briefly when he visited UC Berkeley to deliver a fairly famous lecture (I forget which lecture considering that Berkeley has a truck-load of famous lectures) a few years ago. He signed my copy of the book by him, River out of Eden.
Of course I admire his intellect and his passion for rationality. What really amazes me is his indefatigable perseverance. Just listening to him repeatedly explain and defend his position in innumerable interviews on TV and radio, answering the same old questions that he has written eloquently and at length about in his many books, is itself tiring. I wonder how he can calmly and so politely deal with the steady barrage of nonsense that he faces relentlessly. That is what I admire the most about him — the Zen warrior who is not moved to distraction in his fight for sanity in a world that is given over to insanity. I bow deep in reverence to the Master.
Dawkins was recently at Time’s gala event celebrating ‘100 Most Influential People of the Year’. He wonders why he was chosen but most people who have read him would not hesitate to include him in the 100 most influential people alive in the world today.