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Understanding the world through mental models

Understanding the world through mental models

A few months ago, the world seemed reliable, but now it is changing so fast and has so many unknown dimensions, it can be hard to try and keep up.

Mental models can help us understand the world better, especially during times of confusion. A mental model is simply a representation of how something works. It is a way to simplify complexity and provide direction for our choices.

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MORE IDEAS ON THIS

Probabilistic thinking

In the absence of enough testing, we need to use probabilistic thinking to make decisions on what actions to take. Reasonable probability will impact your approach to physical distancing if you estimate the likelihood of transmission as being three people out of ten instead of one person out ...

181

501 reads

How to move forward

  • Cooperation is a powerful way to move forward both as individuals and societies. All of us have given up some independence for access to resources provided by others.
  • We can mitigate some negative effects by leveraging our community networks to create cooperative interactions that ...

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337 reads

Compounding

Compounding is exponential growth. We tend to see the immediate linear relationships in the situation, e.g., how one test diagnoses one person.

The compounding effect of that relationship means that increased testing can lead to an exponential decrease in disease tran...

143

638 reads

The dynamics of a social response

As we watch the pandemic and its consequences unfold, we see that leadership and authority are not the same things.

Disasters expose the cracks in our leadership. We also see people that display strong leadership without needing any authority.

141

361 reads

Models for society

Using mental models will help in understanding the dynamics of the large-scale social response.

We are currently seeing first-order negatives (closing businesses), and 2nd- and 3rd-order positives (reduced transmission, less stress on the healthcare system.)

We need to enco...

142

357 reads

Ecosystems

One quality of an ecosystem is its resilience - the speed at which an ecosystem recovers after a disturbance.

  • One factor that interferes with our collective resilience is the thin buffer of our economy. The closing of shops and business has exposed the fragile supply...

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268 reads

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Mental models and learning

Mental models and learning

A mental model is a mental, simplified depiction of how something works. It influences our perception, decisions, and behavior. 

Learning means upgrading your mental models. The more models you have — the bigger your toolbox — the more likely you ar...

We all use mental models to help us predict the world around us

  • We all have some sort of model(s) of how the world works and what's true and what's not
  • That's what we're always doing - building models so we can act in it with intention

Hanlon’s Razor At The Workplace

  • We need to deploy mental models at work, which provide us with a framework to expand our understanding and simplify complex matters, helping us make better decisions and handle stress and anxiety .
  • Just be aware of the moments of anger or confusion...

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