Mental Models (Thinking Maps)

  • When I talk about reading, I don’t mean the mechanical process of decoding letters from paper and creating comprehensive sentences from them.
    • For me, reading is something bigger; it’s like popping the hood of a muscle car, which contains many things aside from cogs and wheels.
    • Merely contemplating the beauty of someone else’s ideas, I consider a waste of time.
  • The framework consists of overlapping frames of reference and the behavior of a person or a group of people.
    • Mental models are representations of a person’s beliefs and expectations, according to the points to which he is referencing.
    • Imagine a person who has just read any kind of book, e.g., let’s stick to something related to productivity and efficiency.
    • If the process of reading stopped at the stage of merely copying the author’s ideas:
      • A wake-up call awaits the reader ahead.
      • Without reflection on the ideas, the reader blindly traverses the length of the book, touching the wall and sliding his hand over the surface. If the wall changes and he doesn’t perceive the change or anticipate what lies ahead, he is heading, if not to disaster, then definitely to disappointment.
    • Reading is the process of interpreting and reinterpreting information, reflecting, and comparing ideas with experience and background knowledge.
    • In short, it’s a process of building mental models that lead the reader to certain actions.
      • The final step, which embodies understanding, is taking action in accordance with the new understanding. Actions leave tracks.
      • If a person wishes to know the level of understanding he has obtained, the only sane advice is: observe yourself.

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