Charlie Munger

"Well, the first rule is that you can’t really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and bang ’em back. If the facts don’t hang together on a latticework of theory, you don’t have them in a usable form."

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@rykerx

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Problem Solving

There are two key components to form an effective latticework that allows you to think faster and more clearly.

  1. You need to have many mental models from a wide range of disciplines, different ways of looking at the world and solving problems. For example, supply chains, propulsion, and aerodynamics are some of the models explaining how cargo moves to a pacific island.
  2. You need to learn to use mental models in a very routine way.

Latticework is similar to the prism of a kaleidoscope. If you only have one bead in your kaleidoscope, everything looks the same. The more beads you add, the more images you see with each turn. You can look at the same objects, but see it in many different ways.

Charley Munger and Warren Buffett are so successful because when they consider investing in a company, they slowly turn their kaleidoscopes and see many different images, angles, opportunities, and risks. The outcome is powerful. They can look at the same reality as everyone else, but identify opportunities and threats that others miss.

Historically, power was mostly about controlling access to information. However, the internet has leveled that field. A Google search result can show you the same thing as a CEO. Credentials are devaluing. MIT, Stanford, and other universities share many of their classes online for free.

That means your advantage lies in looking at the same reality but seeing something different. This is done by using the two components of your mental latticework: having mental models from multiple disciplines and using them in a very routine way.

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