Mental Models


Cognitive Biases
– Mental models are more tools for thinking or decision making (mostly constructive). Cognitive biases are illusions of cognition and are happening unconsciously (mostly destructive).

Legend: 🎨 – things I created


Mental models are about simplify complexity, why we consider some things more relevant than others, and how we reason ... We cannot keep all of the details of the world in our brains, so we use models to simplify the complex into understandable and organizable chunks. From a great guide Farnham Street Mental Models See also

80/20 rule
Foundation-Paralysis Effect 🎨
Over and under reaction to a group think 🎨
Scary–good changes
Organic Knowledge
Rumbling to understand 🎨
Local Optimum
Explore or exploit?
Competitive Overtraining 🎨

👇 less relevant to me

Status Quo weight 🎨
Scout Mindset
Publishing Effect 🎨
Story thought vs. Concept thought

Ideas framings

In the above mental models I try to create definitions that structured and don’t overlap on each other. The following is a looser approach. I found that despite perfecting definitions and examples some phrases are weirdly active and effective as a thinking tools. Sometimes one word over another makes all the difference in making definition more vivid, picture creating idea’s intuitive boundaries and vivid definition.

Problems should generate their solutions, not the other way round.

We live in the world of abundant interconnectedness. We are being bombarded with ads and opportunities. Multiple times a day I easily go off track chasing solutions to problems I didn’t previously had. I read this framing on Chris Larkin blog. Having this named/captured helps me stay focused.

When it often occurs: I am going to gmail (or social network) to check one thing for my productive endevour. Then I see another thing and 45 min later I realize I am off track.

"Thank you" unchained

Try pause for a mili-second and say a normal “thanks wIth gratefulness (its easy to default to mindless, chain type of thanks, or say it because its a social expectation)

Why every decision is complex?

Because as humans we live in a many emergence removed world from being single cells

Map vs. territory

Depiction vs. real thing. Today on my bike I was surprised how big was the park I saw on the map

Identify when below things happen

  • I am not here to take shortcuts places.
  • Purchases that buying them cost less than not buying at all. This only happens when the basic needs are met. Common items: therapy, in person courses, living in a nicer place.

Illusion of finity in very large numbers

Some large groups are closer in imagination to infinity than finity. Example: how many super talented singers, architects can be out of 8 billion people. However because the set is technically finite one is surprised that when its dynamic is more like infinity

Not wanting is a super power

Expectation is the grandfather of disappointment. The world can never own a man who wants nothing.



Button to simplify 🎨
Art mental models
Sisyphus job
Material meat 🎨
Rendering large number as infinity 🎨
Panta Rei (everything is in state of changing)
Does not compute (when not to approach things rationally)
Baseraters vs growthers
Doesn't convince
Mental Models bakery

Perfectness bias

Tendency to think things are gonna be more more perfect than they turn out to be. Because of that

  • one has longer to do list than they are able to accomplish
  • have unreal picture of the future

How to avoid it? Maybe good heuristic here is the one as

explains for forcasting uncertain future. See how certain situation turn out in the past and this most likely be the same in the future.

Button to prioritize intuition, not material outcomes, vague concepts

There are things in life that while highly likely bc they don't have hard, embodied proof will be reprioritized.

Examples. It's easy to deprioritize eating healthy. Technically I know this has large impact but bc there is no direct feedback and the knowledge is theoretical, heard from someone else it's easy to not prioritize it highly enough.


Relativity paradox

We are guided often by the relative values rather than by absolute. Spending similar amount of time to find a better deal on item that cost $100 and $1000. Absolutely logical computer would spend 10 times less.

Threshold push

some things need some force to be defined or pushed over certain threshold, tipping point. So if you spend 78 joules energy and the threshold is 80, the two additional ones are extra valuable


(other names: tipping point, pushing over the bar or threshold)

Contrast principle 🎨

We love changes. We will want to change things even if they are co we will do stuff only to change contrast to change things that are already established, sometimes for worse: i.e. political systems usually switch between sides every two terms. Add something about contrast 1) if we look at the light we will want dark, if we eat sweet we want savory. Reverse mechanism: Scary Good Changes. So sometimes changes are good (maybe it's about the big, foundational changes) and sometimes they are just out of the blind need for change. Maybe: Don't do changes when they are made out of when you didn't have a patience to methodically compare outcomes. And when they might come from boredom. Do changes when you don't feel like redoing something because you previously put a lot of work into previous iteration of something. Do them if you feel Sunk Cost Fallacy bias active. Alternative name: Blind Change Drive

Granularity of thought 🎨

Ability to escape the trap Binary Trap. Be able to think in a gradual, granular way. The way to train this is the Calibration tool mentioned by


This also connects to how we percieve our mind and ideas of our mind. We believe that identities are wholes, entities that have clear boundaries. In practice it's more that things are much more granular like in


Entities, ideas, definitions that have strong identities, defined boundaries vs seeing things as more sum of its parts, with fluid boundaries, build of tiny granular pieces



. Maybe the key to learn this is trying to be world class in at least one area. (when you scratch a complicated discourse you will bump with complexity. A lot of people might miss this experience. Painting might be a good exposure. If you want to paint realistically blending pigments is sometimes really challenging. Sometimes really little pigment can create a visible change. Sometimes a lot of pigment isn't changing anything.

What is not seen doesn't exist

My example: I didn't prioritize enough i.e. fasting, healthy eating (100% following the edvice from Rhonda Pattrick, Dr. Longo, Sinclair). Watching how molecular machines work in DNA animations by wehi.tv

It is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking, than it is to think yourself into a new way of acting h/t A. J. Jacobs (add Tony Robbins process. (robbins + ajj jacobs) How to become smarter? Take care of your body. Your head is an organ too. | Tim Ferriss

We feel like the mind is divorcable from the body (from Bloom on Sam Harriss podcast)

Name: Divorce of Mind from Body, Duality of mind and body

Solidified world

Illusion that science reached final understanding of the world. I have a sense that in every epoch people would be equally certain that the world is finally understood.

On Ego. It's about my sovereign, independent mind.

No, it's about your body. We think that it’s more about external circumstances and it’s more about how our body process fluids. I am biking and there are a lot of good ideas coming up. My default state would be to think that it’s happening because of some actions in external world (stumbling upon inspiration) or that my sovereign, independent mind thought something through. And the truth is its about about me pushing fluids, oxygen, lymph through my body and so the mind is more electrisized and has more connections

Future has a higher priority

If you tell people your plan ahead of time it is gonna be much more likely to happen. People are more likely to see it as something of a high priority for you and not some random need. The reverse is also true. Don’t commit to anything in the future that you don’t you wouldn’t want to do right now.

Bias towards action.

Abstract – Real. Image–Matter. Thought–Action. The difference between something that is theoretically existing and existing in real life. Difference between imagining something and rendering it by doing, by granularly going through its matter. Examples James Clear – if you want to workout just start doing it for 5min (your body, clocks inside you need to get use to it) You cannot learn something by thinking about it, you have to start doing it. Doing something is rendering the topic with more circuits of yours. (with body or different circuits of your brain). When you create a high resolution memory of something you can stack new thing on top of it. Learning by doing is creating rich network of connections that with practice becomes more entangled and higher resolution Jim Collins local optimum. You cannot understand all the dimensions of moderately complex problem. Start with the best one and than think about following move. The same goes with learning new skill. You cannot think hard to learn badminton you need to start do it.

Do Do Do

People need to work, do, realize no matter if the outcomes are meaningful

Rendered through space

Our minds are so eager to make associate spaces to thoughts and feelings. I heard from some sleep expert that it's good to go to bed only if you when you are ready to sleep. Don't work or watch Netflix in bed. Your mind will associate the space for sleep only

My mom's dog who is adopted from a shelter is very easily scared. She is not letting me go near her. She might get up and run away when I walk by her. But if moments later I turn and sit on the sofa. She might even jump on it to sit close to me. I think this is happening because she got used to me there when I joined my mom when she was watching television. She might have gotten used to my presence there. The same goes with kitchen. She is 50% less scared of me there. She came close to me there many times because I had food and she might associate kitchen with more positive emotions and interactions.


  • It's easy to change stuff a lot. Often the outcome is that change brings excitement and hope for transformation. However more often than not is just a distraction. In my case its often better to not change because change is distracting. And with focus ask for a change that will feel more transformative.

Embodied thought

Inbox / Workshop

Expected value

Kant never left Królewiec, this was Hansestic city and he believed that whole world is coming in there so there is no need to travel anywhere.

Start where you are

I know It will be hard to change something but I am engaging in timely decision making process anyway because decision feels high stake e.g. open enrollment decision.

Solution: just be in tuned that this is the case and try hard not to engage

Jittery world

Plan long bike itteneraties

Examples of failures that are productive

  • Charles C. Boggle – "However, the merger ended badly and Bogle was therefore fired in 1974. Bogle has said about being fired: "The great thing about that mistake, which was shameful and inexcusable and a reflection of immaturity and confidence beyond what the facts justified, was that I learned a lot. And if I had not been fired then, there would not have been a Vanguard." from wikipedia

With complex ecosystem one will undervalue how seemingly disconnected element can have effect on each other

My personal examples:

  • When I strengthened my abdominal muscles in gym I become a lot better soccer player
  • When I worked on a better posture in my spine it changed the position of upper teeth more to front in relation to bottom teeth
Budding ideas