How to Think

Nobody that I’ve met has had a great answer to how to get a mapping from concepts and frameworks to problems to solve, where their intuition brings the most salient, information-full frameworks and concepts to mind as soon as they encounter a problem. This is definitely how my brain seems to work and so improving this would lead to great outcomes.

The plan is to run this framework against problems in life systematically, until the models become an integral part of habitual thought. System 1 can do the work of aggregating their results after I see enough data, and the framework will expose the strongest ways to think about problems immediately.

What follows is a master list of this framework.

Models Master List (Letting Things Blow Up)


Behavioral Economics / Psychology


Prospect Theory
Reference Dependence
Loss / Risk / Uncertainty Aversion
Growth vs Fixed Mindset
System 1 / System 2
Goal Factoring
Ego (Positional Negotiation)
Environment as Main Determinant of Behavior (Social and Physical)
Assume that some options are eliminated
Prevention Focus vs Promotion Focus
When we consider the best and worst states, what context do we think exists?
Identify Aversive Factors
Inferential Distance
Steelman each idea
Exposure Therapy
Groupthink
Confirmation Bias
Selection Effects
Availability Bias
Cognitive Dissonance (Consistency plus Sour Grapes)
Social Proof
No Brainer (Do the Obvious Thing)
Reciprocation
Maslow’s Hammer (The tools you have determine the solutions you see)
Habits

Economics

Incentives
Opportunity Cost (Necessity of trade-offs)
Marginal Value
Supply Demand (Scarcity, scarce resources)
Diminishing Marginal Returns
Option Value (Value in Exploration)
Comparative Advantage / Specialization
Equilibrium
Hyperbolic Discounting
Arbitrage
Deadweight Loss (Resource Misallocation)
Elasticity (First derivative, response magnitude of supply/demand to changing price)
Tragedy of the Commons (Free Rider Problem)
Externalities
Moral Hazard / Principal Agent Problem
Expected Value


Mathematics

Check Derivative and Second Derivative, not just Objective Function
Nonlinearity
Invert
Principle Component Analysis

Statistics

Antifragility (Gains from volatility)
Option (Short or long volatility)
Optionality
Narrative Fallacy
Search for Objective Data to Inform Decisions
Intensity (Variance)
Conditional probabilities multiply - theorizing is extremely difficult
Power Law Distribution vs Normal Distribution
Outliers
Law of Large Numbers (Poker style optimal play)
Mean Regression
Bias / Variance
Tight / Aggressive approach to decisions
Pareto Principle (80/20 rule, Curate, Triage)

Biology

Evolution
Natural Selection
Memes

Physics

Critical Mass
First Principles Foundational Thought

Chemistry

Dose Dependence
Catalyst

Philosophy

Consider the Meta Level
Consequentialism
Problem of Induction / Empiricism
Values Framework
Simplicity (Occam’s Razor)


Engineering

Bottleneck
Backup System
Positive / Negative Feedback
Curate

Heuristics


What would I think if I was another type of person? Different Identity?
Habits

History

When has this problem or approach been tried or solved in the past?

Sociology

Identity
With social roles
With organizations
With status levels


Computer Science

Systematize (Write an Algorithm / Process)
Exploration-Exploitation
Divide and Conquer (Split problem into pieces)
Premature Optimization
Tree Structure (Graphical Structure)