The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish
Upgrade your mental toolkit and make better decisions. • A map is a simplified representation of a complicated reality. • Recognize the limits of your circle of competence. • Solve problems creatively by reasoning from first principles. • Develop your creative problem-solving skills even further by practicing inversion. Example. Lucky Strike marketing for women: "If we lived in a word where women smoked, what would need to be true?" Social acceptability. • Use thought experiments to test out your ideas and clarify your thinking. Example. Einstein and the elevator. Example. How would you behave in a word without money? • Engage in second-order thinking to scrutinize your decisions and bolster your arguments. Second-order consequences can be negative or positive. Example. GMOs. • Use probabilistic thinking to weigh your decisions more precisely. Example. "Violent crime skyrocketting". Look at the actual numbers instead of anecdotes. • According to Occam’s razor, the simplest of two or more equally compelling explanations is the most likely to be true. • According to Hanlon’s razor, the simplest and most likely explanation for misbehavior is stupidity, rather than malice.