Elon Musks' "3-Step" First Principles Thinking: How to Think and Solve Difficult Problems Like a...
"Well, I do think there’s a good framework for thinking. It is physics. You know, the sort of first principles reasoning.
(...) What I mean by that is, boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there, as opposed to reasoning by analogy.
Through most of our life, we get through life by reasoning by analogy, which essentially means copying what other people do with slight variations."
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"It is important to view knowledge as sort of semantic tree.
Make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.”
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
"I tend to approach things from a physics framework. And physics teaches you to reason from first principles ra..."
Comparison thinking: comes up with solutions based on pre-existing ideas. It is the way we normally think but it also limits the solutions to possible permutations of what already exists.
First principles thinking: starts free of preconceptions by studying the fundamentals of something and then working your way to a new thing. This helps you understand complex problems.
Is the act of deconstructing something to the fundamental parts that you know are true and building up from there.
Also called reasoning from first principles, it effectively he...
“Physics teaches you to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So I said, okay, let’s look at the first principles. What is a rocket made of? Aerospace-grade aluminum alloys, plus some titanium, copper, and carbon fiber. Then I asked, what is the value of those materials on the commodity market? It turned out that the materials cost of a rocket was around two percent of the typical price.”
Different solutions present themselves at different layers of abstraction. Depending on how deep and thorough is your breakdown of the situation, putting them all back together may yield different solutions.
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Is a basic, foundational, self-evident proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption.
"… it's important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. We are doing this because it's like something else that was done, or it is like what other people are doing. But with first principles, you boil things down to the most fundamental truths and then reason up from there."