Mental modeliai

A mental model is a concept you can use to help try to explain things


  • Conjunction fallacy - formal fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that specific conditions are more probable than a single general one.

  • Occam’s Razor — “Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.”

  • Hanlon’s Razor — “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by carelessness.”

  • Zebra - American medical slang for arriving at an exotic medical diagnosis when a more commonplace explanation is more likely. "When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras".

  • Cognitive bias - a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment. Individuals create their own "subjective reality" from their perception of the input. An individual's construction of reality, not the objective input, may dictate their behavior in the world. Thus, cognitive biases may sometimes lead to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, illogical interpretation, or what is broadly called irrationality.

  • Fundamental attribution error - also known as correspondence bias or attribution effect, is the tendency for people to under-emphasize situational explanations for an individual's observed behavior while over-emphasizing dispositional and personality-based explanations for their behavior. This effect has been described as "the tendency to believe that what people do reflects who they are".

  • Assume good intent until proven otherwise. Your parent is not your enemy. Your teacher is not your enemy. Your boss is not your enemy. The other team at work is not your enemy. The corporation is not your enemy. The other political party is not your enemy. Or, more accurately, YOU are not THEIR enemy. Most of the time there isn't a conspiracy against you, there are simply incentives that you don't understand. It’s worth remembering that even if someone is an enemy it is in conflict with you, nobody thinks they are “the bad guy”. If you want to understand why someone does what they do, you can’t chalk it up just to “they’re evil” or “they’re crazy”. There’s some reason why they’re doing what they do and to them, they feel like they’re on the right side.

Creative Destruction

  • Motivated by personal incentives, entrepreneurs will push to best one another in a never-ending game of creative one-upmanship, in the process destroying old ideas and replacing them with newer technology. Beware getting left behind.


  • Pareto principle - for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It is a key for scaling a business: segment your customers to shift low revenue customers to low cost channels.

  • The Paradox of Abundance, Brandolini's law - The average quality of information is getting worse. But the best stuff is getting better. Markets of abundance are simultaneously bad for the median consumer but good for conscious consumers. The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.


  • Diminishing returns - in all productive processes, adding more of one factor of production, while holding all others constant, will at some point yield lower incremental per-unit returns.

Human behaviour

  • Mimetic Theory of Desire - Humans are like sheep: we don’t know what we want, so we imitate each other. Instead of creating our own desires, we desire the same things as other people. The entire advertising industry is built on this idea.

  • Mimetic Theory of Conflict - People who are similar are more likely to fight than people who are different. That’s why Civil Wars and family feuds create the worst conflicts. The closer two people are and the more equality between them, the greater the potential for conflict.

  • Robustness Principle - Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others. It’s a design guideline for software and a good rule for life: Hold yourself to a higher standard than you hold others to.

  • Availability Cascade - nusako kolektyvinių įsitikinimų susiformavimą: idėja, kuri įprastai paaiškina sudėtingus procesus gan paprasta forma, būtent dėl šio savo paprastumo ir "patogumo" įgauna paramos ir pasiekia vis platesnę auditoriją, taip prisitraukiant pritarimo ir dar daugiau. Augantis populiarumas taipogi iššaukia grandininę reakciją, kai pritarimo sulaukiama vien jau ir dėlto, jog idėja tampa populiari aplinkinių tarpe. Net jei ja sudvejojama - pradeda veikti socialinio pritapimo poreikis, kuris užslopina kritinį mąstymą, o net ir pateikus akivaizdžius įrodymus naratyvo neretai laikomasi įsikibus, nes niekas nenori pripažinti esąs neteisus.

    Šį principą įprastai galima pastebėti nuomonėse apie potencialias rizikas. Pastaruoju metu jį aiškiai galima matyti visose tose idėjose apie plokščią žemę, žmonių čipavimą skiepų pagalba ar 5G pavojų. Mes juokiamės, meminam ir kalbam apie tai - bet tos idėjos visgi plinta ir įsitvirtina dar labiau.

Opportunity Costs

  • Doing one thing means not being able to do another. By reading this you are choosing not to read something else. Everything we do is like this. We live in a world of trade-offs, and the concept of opportunity cost rules all. Most aptly summarized as “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”

Scientific method

  • A method is termed scientific if it can be stated in such a way that a certain defined result would cause it to be proved false. Pseudo-knowledge and pseudo-science operate and propagate by being unfalsifiable – as with astrology, we are unable to prove them either correct or incorrect because the conditions under which they would be shown false are never stated.


  • Rather than having a group of workers each producing an entire item from start to finish, it’s usually far more productive to have each of them specialize in one aspect of production. However each worker might not enjoy such a life; this is a trade-off of the specialization model.

  • Most humans have the tendency to need to act, even when their actions are not needed. We also tend to offer solutions even when we do not have knowledge to solve the problem.


  • When we dream about travelling, we do so because we think we'd be happier somewhere else. In fact, usually, the place doesn't matter, as long as it's just not here. When we arrive and actually experience the destination, our old modes of thinking persist. We get bored, distracted, worry about details, and spend very little time taking it in. Only in our memories of our journey does the trip take on an ephemeral form again, where we edit out and forget everything except the most potent few moments.


  • Parkinson’s Law - Work expands to fill the time available. People don’t want to look like they’re lazy, so they find extra tasks to tackle, even if they’re trivial. If you have six months to complete a project, it will take six months to complete. Set deadlines accordingly. It is sometimes applied to the growth of bureaucracy in an organization.

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