Originally posted on TIME:
In The Art of War Sun Tzu said “The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought.”
Those ‘calculations’ are the tools we have available to think better. One of the best questions you can ask is how we can make our mental processes work better.
Charlie Munger says that “developing the habit of mastering the multiple models which underlie reality is the best thing you can do.”
Those models are mental models.
They fall into two categories: (1) ones that help us simulate time (and predict the future) and better understand how the world works (e.g. understanding a useful idea from like autocatalysis), and (2) ones that help us better understand how our mental processes lead us astray (e.g., availability bias).
When our mental models line up with reality they help us avoid problems. However, they also cause problems…
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