Chaos Theory by Robert Murphy

Josh Waitzkin

Part 1: Technique

Technique is the overarching principle

Other principles are subsets

It is how you get from A to B regardless of what A or B are

How rather than the What

You have the same capacity, the same techniques, that made great people great in their fields

Why do most people do most things wrong?

This is because most people don’t know the basics.

They don’t get the fundamentals right.

Because no immediate feedback is available in the world of ideas, most people get it wrong.

Compared to more engineering fields, feedbacks are faster.

How did you self-educated yourself in economics?

2007, Ron Paul

Internet, googling around

Mises Institute

Videos, papers

2 ways of economic reasoning

  • Empiricist - all propositions up for evaluation
  • Rationalist - some logically true propositions exist without need for evaluation

Start with the Austrian economics axiom: “humans act”

Then use logical deduction to deduce from there.

Then go to the standard literature

  • Human Action
  • Man, Economy, and State
  • All works by Mises (like differences between Economic Theory and Economic History)

Mises University (Weeklong program)

Internship at the Foundation for Economic Education

Answering the questions: you studied economics from one point of view?

Austrian economics starts its discussion by discussing different points of views and showing how they’re wrong.

Paul Samuelson’s Economics

Problems with credentialing

Technique is like theory

It is more important than practice

Spend more time finding the right technique rather than practicing the wrong one

Dedicate time in accurately identifying superior methods for going from A to B

Do a survey of all the mutually exclusive claims out there (different schools of thought)

Then identify which is the objectively superior method in terms of efficiency and the basics

Use theory

Part 2: Efficiency

Getting from A to B with the least amount of energy required. While eliminating all unnecessary steps in the process.

Be aware of your own inefficiency.

Part 3: The Basics

The bread and butter core techniques you will be using 80-90% of the time

The trivium

  • Input - Collect
  • Process - Organize
  • Output - Make use of


Choose a technique

Choose an efficient technique

Master the basics of the efficient technique

Understanding economics = understanding the basics of economics

Focus on the basics (90%) not the flashiness (10%).

If you’ve mastered the basics, you know when to break them.


School Sucks (Director). (2016, February 6). The 5 Principles of Learning Anything—Series Introduction.