The Great Mental Models, Volume 2: Physics, Chemistry and Biology

Great book on mental models. I didn't find this book as interesting as its predecessor, but I think it's a good read.

1 min read


Reciprocity

You reap what you sow. You get back what you give. For every action, there is a reaction. The best way to get something is to deserve it.

This is also known as the Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated.

Reciprocity

Friction and Viscosity

It can be much easier to reduce friction than to use more force. An obvious example is when designing your environment. You'd want to design it to optimize for your goals. If you want to get work done, perhaps it isn't the best idea to have distracting elements in the room where you work.

Friction

Velocity

Direction is often more important than speed. Speed implies movement at a certain rate; but you could go really fast yet still remain in the same spot, i.e., running in place. Velocity implies both direction and speed. Therefore, velocity > speed.

Velocity

Leverage

The best way to have leverage in any deal is to not need the deal at all.

Leverage is how you get ouputs that are disproportionate to your inputs.

You should ask yourself:

  • When do I know when I have leverage?
  • Where and when should I apply my leverage?
  • How do I keep my leverage?

Try to pair leverage with reciprocity. Create win-win situations.

Leverage

Evolution

Adapt or die. The least fit die first, so you must continuously adapt to the ever-evolving environment.

Don't be Blockbuster in a world that demands Netflix.
Don't be a Blackberry in a world of iPhones.

Both used to be on top of the world. Both failed to adapt. Now how often do we talk about them, outside of case studies?

The Red Queen effect

If you stay the same, you are decaying. No one is ever protected from extinction, so we must continuously adapt and improve — otherwise we fall behind and die.

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