How do we become better investors? Better decision makers? Having a latticework of mental models to hang our thoughts and choices on is a great start. Creating these models is how we learn to become better decision makers. Before creating our latticework of mental models we need to create the mental models that we will use. We must explore the big ideas from the major disciplines.
Physics, biology, psychology, philosophy, literature, history, sociology, and others.
These are the big disciplines that we call the models.
Our goal is not to remember facts and be able to repeat them, like on a test in college. The goal is to hang these models on a latticework of mental models with concrete examples in our head to help us remember them. And apply them in our life.
The latticework of mental models puts them in a form that we can use analyze a wide variety of situations. This enables us to make better decisions. When these big ideas from multiple disciplines all point toward the same conclusion. Then we can begin to make the conclusion that we have come across an important truth.
Charlie Munger and the latticework of mental models
This idea of a latticework comes Charlie Munger, co-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. Munger is one of the greatest cross-disciplinary thinkers in the world.
I could try to explain his thoughts on worldly wisdom, but I would fail miserably. So instead we will use his words.
Well, the first rule is that you can’t really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and bang ’em back. If the facts don’t hang together on a latticework of theory, you don’t have them in a usable form. Continue reading “Latticework of Mental Models: Better Decisions, Better Investors”