Why use a variety of models?


Using a variety of models is crucial for multiple reasons as discussed by Shane Parrish and his guest Scott Page:

  1. Robustness: A diverse set of models acts like a portfolio, reducing the risk of mistakes and providing robust solutions to complex problems. Combining models can result in performance that is significantly better than the average performance of individual models 1.

  2. Broad Understanding: No individual model can fully represent the complexity of the world. Using multiple models allows for a more holistic understanding and helps in making sense of multifaceted issues. This approach is especially useful in fields like biology, computer science, and economics where complexity is high 2.

  3. Avoiding Blind Spots: Specialization can often lead to blind spots due to a narrow focus. A variety of models provides a multidimensional perspective, essential for comprehensive problem-solving and decision-making. This is particularly important in interdisciplinary environments where different perspectives can significantly enhance understanding and solutions 3.

    Models for Complex Problems

    Scott discusses the philosophy behind using a variety of models to solve complex problems and explains how his book highlights the 30 most important models. He shares the challenge of writing about these models in a way that everyone can understand and emphasizes the importance of awareness and deeper exploration.

    The Knowledge Project

    Mental Models for complexity | Scott Page and Shane Parrish | The Knowledge Project #55
  4. Flexibility and Adaptability: Having multiple models at one’s disposal allows for flexibility and adaptability to different situations and problems. This capacity is crucial in the fast-evolving and complex modern world where one often encounters novel and unpredictable challenges 4.

The discussion highlights the valuable notion that embracing a variety of models can lead to a deeper, more accurate, and adaptable understanding of the world.