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Thought Stack: Design Principles, Mental Models, & Cognitive Biases

Jun 19, 2017

The concept of information asymmetry seems fairly obvious from its name. However, as a mental model, it deserves deeper study to fully understand all of its nuances.

At its most basic, information asymmetry describes a situation where two parties have different quantities or qualities of information. When one person has...


Jun 18, 2017

We need to stop using statistics to communicate with the public.

Don’t get me wrong, statistics is a valuable tool for certain applications. Informing the public is not one of those applications.

You might be thinking, “That’s a little extreme...why?”

Simple:

The average (mode) of society is not...


Jun 12, 2017

How do we know when we should put in the effort to make the best choice, product, or decision, versus picking something that is simply “good enough?”

The answer is the mental model of maximizing vs. satisficing.

We Have Too Many Options for Unimportant Things

In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz notes that as...


Jun 9, 2017

I remember reading Othello back in high school…

It was bound in a bright blue paperback sleeve with the word “Sparknotes” written above the title.

I know. Sparknotes isn’t the same thing as reading the book. But I was young and at that time, Shakespeare didn’t interest me the way Final Fantasy VII did.

Imagine...


Jun 5, 2017

I was biking to the grocery store a few days ago. As I was pedaling along happily, a bright-red car door materialized in front of my face…

I swerved. I almost fell off my bike but was able to recover. As soon as I was stabilized, I looked back to yell at the man who’d opened the car door and almost killed me.