book Farnam Street The Great Mental Models

The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts

  • "The quality of your thinking depends on the models in your head."
  • Mental models help identify information relevant to any situation

Acquiring Wisdom

  • Volume One contains general thinking concepts
    • Used to improve our understanding of the world we live in
    • Used to improve our ability to see situations through different lenses
  • Not every model applies to every problem
  • We are our biggest barriers to learning as we move through life
    • Three reasons this can happen:
      • We don't have the right perspective
        • We must be open to other perspectives to truly understand the result of our actions
      • Ego-driven denial
        • We often fear getting our ideas criticized
        • When our ideas are criticized, we often defend instead of upgrade our ideas
      • We are too far from the consequences of our decisions
  • Simple ideas help us prevent complex problems
  • The world is smarter than we are --> seek its feedback
  • Our ego is friend and enemy

The Map is not the Territory

  • Even the most accurate maps have mistakes
    • They are reductions of the world; an abstraction
  • A map's structure may be similar or dissimilar to the territory
  • The only way we can navigate through reality is by abstraction