My Favorite Bits From Morgan Housel’s 100 Ideas

Climb Higher

More Morgan Housel. His 100 Little Ideas are “in no particular order and from different fields, that help explain how the world works.” (Link)

Some Favorites of Mine Categorized

Ideas that interact:

  • Three Men Make a Tiger + Woozle Effects
  • Cumulative advantage + Imposter Syndrome

Math Illusions:

  • Anscombe’s Quartet
  • Berkson’s Paradox
  • The 90-9-1 Rule
  • Friendship Paradox

Didn’t know they had a name for that:

  • Ringelmann Effect

Effects I’ve re-phrased:

  • Boomerang Effect: why persuasion backfires
  • McNamara Fallacy: False belief that “everything that counts can be counted and everything that can be counted counts”
  • Meat Paradox: Morality when convenient; I think this is one of the perils of abstraction that comes with modernity
  • The Middle Ground Fallacy: solutions that work for no one
  • Abilene Paradox: A 27th birthday dinner at Rosa Mexicano. Nobody wants this ritual.


  • Ludic fallacy: Why fighters who win the gold medal might be precisely those who will be most vulnerable in real life.
  • Reflexivity: When cause and effect are the same.

Thwarting and fooling ourselves:

  • Actor-Observer Asymmetry
  • Moral Luck
  • Fluency Heuristic
  • Luxury Paradox

Underhanded tactics:

  • Poisoning the Well

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