Mental Models I Find Repeatedly Useful
Gabriel Weinberg
16.4K142

I am sorry to rain on your parade, but nothing what you list (yes, I have read them all) are models, much less mental models. Maybe you should read the wikipedia entry before you use any fancy words ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_model ). You don’t look knowledgeable or fancy if you use words wrong. You look dumb.

What you list here are mostly just methods, mathematical or statistical tools, facts and mere names. And honestly, I expect anyone with half a brain to have heard of most of these by the age of 30. And I guess you would have too, if you paid attention in high-school or college and read more than just a book on writing javascript. Especially in this day and age, when wikipedia brings us knowledge for free and easily accessible directly to our comfy chairs at home. There is really no excuse to not knowing these. In light of this, what really appalls me is the whole circle jerk and back slapping in the comments. Seriously? This a great list? Maybe a great list of things you should really look up and learn what they are as you are expected to know them.

That said, if you seek to better yourself, then start reading books. Books on various topics. Stuff you have never heard of. Just walk into a big bookstore and choose a random non-fiction aisle. Pick up a random book that looks like it introduces a topic. Really, read any book, no matter what. You will know and understand more, afterwards.

If you “liked” this list, then probably you want to read an introductory text on social psychology (the one by Hewstone, Stroebe and Jonas is quite good), one on cognitive psychology (“Cognitive Psychology” by Anderson), a book on physics (Tipler’s “Physics for Scientists and Engineers” and “Modern Physics” are both very easy to read and cover all you need to know), some introductory text on statistics and probability (sorry, all I know are German books with no English translation). For a little bit advanced stuff, I recommend the books from Steven Strogatz. Yes, all of them. He is a great writer and knows how to convey complicated mathematical knowledge of a broad range of fields in a way a mere mortal without a PhD can understand. Yet everything is completely sound and with lots of references for those who want to read the source. For those more inclined in economics, especially in winner-takes-all kind of things, read Brian Arthur’s “Complexity and the Economy”. He was the first who introduced the concept of winner-takes-all in economics, which was previously dismissed as “unrealistic”.

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