You don't need to master every detail of every subject to become a world-class thinker.
If you can master the fundamentals of each discipline, then you can develop a remarkably accurate and useful picture of life.
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Mental models are the various thinking frameworks that are used to understand life, make decisions, and solve problems.
Just raw intelligence is not enough to solve problems. A different or a broader set of mental models can provide a different view of the problem, leading to an unconventional, new solution not thought of before.
Each individual mental model is just one view of reality. The challenges and situations we face in life cannot be entirely explained by one field or industry.
All perspectives hold some truth. None of them contain the complete truth.
Develop "liquid knowledge" that flows easily from one topic to the next.
Instead of separating knowledge into different sections, isolating it, we are better off expanding, merging and liquefying the knowledge.
A mental model is an explanation of how something works. They are beliefs, worldviews or frameworks of thinking. You carry a certain kind of thinking in you to arrive at a solution to a problem.
“Scientists generally agree that no theory is 100 percent correct. Thus, the real test of knowledge is not truth, but utility.”
“What Sherlock Holmes offers isn’t just a way of solving a crime. It is an entire way of thinking."
"Holmes provides... an education in improving our faculty of mindful thought and in using it in order to accomplish more, think better, and decide more optimally." - Ellen Langer
When polarizing topics are discussed in meetings, it can turn into a fight. In these conflicts, where passions run high, people tend to confuse correlation with causation while determining the reason for the problem, or can have hindsight bias. They can also create evidence out of nothing or assume a maliciousness intent from the decision-makers.
Mental models are tools that can help us navigate through such challenging or confusing situations.