Andy Benoit

"Most geniuses—especially those who lead others—prosper not by deconstructing intricate complexities but by exploiting unrecognized simplicities."


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Problem Solving


The core to the mental models approach

When we're don't have any expertise in a domain, most of the time the chosen approach the one that helps you avoid stupidity.

We don't have to be geniuses in every domain, but we have to be able to understand the big ideas of most disciplines and try to avoid fooling ourselves.

This filter assists us in understand the layers of unexpected consequences. The question to keep in mind here is: “And then what?”

We may really understand a statement, we may quantify the effects of a proposed solution, but it is very important to also consider the second layer of effects or beyond.

This is the first filter through which we should interpret reality.

Consider this question: "What do the words really mean?" Keep in mind the fact that Language is not just a way to communicate or interpret; language is a call to action or an inhibitor to action.

It is translated into numerical fluency: our capacity to count, calculate, and balance values is important to understanding the statements of experts or evaluate any problem rationally.

It is to understand reality and human nature as it really is, without premature, impulsive judgment.

Mental filters help you understand reality by improving your capacity to analyze the statements of experts, promoters, and persuaders of all kinds.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.



An externality affects someone without them agreeing to it. It can be positive or negative. Most externalities are small but can make a significant impact over time. Understanding the types of externalities and the consequences they have can help us improve our decision making.

One family member leaves their dirty dishes in the sink. They get the benefit of using the plate. Someone else bears the cost of washing it later.

Questions about the meaning of life contain assumptions:
  • “What’s the meaning of life?” Assumes that there’s a single meaning.
  • “Does my life have meaning?” Assumes (or at least hints) at a “yes” or “no” answer.
Your brain predicts your experiences

Your daily experiences is a carefully controlled illusion constructed by your brain. The hallucination creates all your experiences and guides your actions.

This is the way your brain gives meaning to the sensory inputs of your body and the world. You are not reacting to experience, but your brain is constantly making predictions about what will happen and acting on it.

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