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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Todd Cheng

    A good collection of the science frameworks applied to social science. For example a catalyst model in chemistry used to suggest the importance of learning and it ability to be a force multiplier. The book links velocity as speed and size in physics to Napoleon and his use in army strategy. Natural selection as evolution or in this narrative how it applies to to adaption and survival of language. Each chapter frames one science framework a metaphor or model to another more abstract social issue. A good collection of the science frameworks applied to social science. For example a catalyst model in chemistry used to suggest the importance of learning and it ability to be a force multiplier. The book links velocity as speed and size in physics to Napoleon and his use in army strategy. Natural selection as evolution or in this narrative how it applies to to adaption and survival of language. Each chapter frames one science framework a metaphor or model to another more abstract social issue. The books covers relativity, reciprocity, thermodynamics, inertia, fiction and viscosity, velocity, leverage, activation energy, catalyst, alloying, natural selection, adoption and red queen, competition, echo system, niche, self preparation, replication, cooperation, hierarchy organization, incentives, and tendency to minimize energy output. I might have used a few other analogies to link the framework, author, and abstract social example, but a good collection. Overall a good read as part of the two part series. I appreciated the other literature reference and annotated several other books that I expect would interest me too.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andy One

    Do it.read it. Love it.get it.go for it. Be it. See it.believe it.find it.make it. An obscure review title for a well written, timeless book. My life is changing for the better using models thinking.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sven Kirsimäe

    I wish I was taught subjects like this at my university. For many of the topics, though, a personal experience might be in need. Thus, I'm humbled to learn them now, and in some cases even be able to associate from personal experience. I wish I was taught subjects like this at my university. For many of the topics, though, a personal experience might be in need. Thus, I'm humbled to learn them now, and in some cases even be able to associate from personal experience.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anurag Dahal

    For what it's worth, this book contains information worth chewing and digesting. For what it's worth, this book contains information worth chewing and digesting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vitalijus Sostak

    This book reads like a strongly simplified selection of some fundamental concepts in physics, chemistry and biology. They're supposed to be practical and applicable in various aspects in life, but it simply does not work for me. First, it's not a science book, even a very simplified one. There is no system, criteria by which concepts are chosen and their explanation is also inconsistent in structure and details. Second (and I had exactly same gripes with the first book in the series), the level of This book reads like a strongly simplified selection of some fundamental concepts in physics, chemistry and biology. They're supposed to be practical and applicable in various aspects in life, but it simply does not work for me. First, it's not a science book, even a very simplified one. There is no system, criteria by which concepts are chosen and their explanation is also inconsistent in structure and details. Second (and I had exactly same gripes with the first book in the series), the level of "obviousness" is through the roof. Readers that maybe had not attended primary school or do not read at all will find a level of revelation that's exciting, but for the vast majority - nope. Most people, I surmise, know that alloys allow to create new materials with different, useful features than the original components - that's not anything new or even worth reminding. The question is - how do one uses it in a practical way in everyday life? No answer here. In result, the entire book may be summarized by a dozen or so commandments of mostly trivial quality, like "sometimes the result of using several ingredients is in some way better than any ingredient by itself". But in the end - what to do with that? Was it a time well spent (reading this book)? For me - rather not.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ivaylo Durmonski

    There is a good reason why the ideas from physics, chemistry, and biology discussed in this book are worth learning. We exist, in this very moment, thanks to thousands of years of evolution. The energy circling around and the substances that flow in our bodies and in the bodies of everyone else are what make the world works. And by understanding these forces, you’ll uncover truths about our surroundings that are essential for a happy life. By backing up the scientific concepts mentioned in the sub There is a good reason why the ideas from physics, chemistry, and biology discussed in this book are worth learning. We exist, in this very moment, thanks to thousands of years of evolution. The energy circling around and the substances that flow in our bodies and in the bodies of everyone else are what make the world works. And by understanding these forces, you’ll uncover truths about our surroundings that are essential for a happy life. By backing up the scientific concepts mentioned in the subtitle of the book with real-world stories and practical steps, Shane Parrish gives us more ways to understand and apply ideas and concepts that are foundational for the life we live in. In other words, by learning the most common scientific laws that move the world, you’ll make better decisions in the world. The short chapters and the supporting stories mentioned make this book a must-have addition to your library. The Great Mental Models Vol. 2 is designed to be frequently used and referred to when you’re dealing with baffling situations in your real life. Key takeaway: When in trouble, look at nature. Nothing in nature is created without a reason. Everything has a purpose. By observing how animals solve problems – search for food, fly, even move – we can learn to approach our own problems in a new, better way. Read the full summary: https://durmonski.com/book-summaries/...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rishabh Srivastava

    This was a frustrating book to read. While the authors brought up some interesting principles/mental models, there was a lot of pseudoscience (like "It is probable that that people first discovered catalysis when alcohol was invented", or "Although the science continues to advance, we lack a comprehensive definition or how many catalysts actually work") Moreover, they were limited in treating the interesting mental models they did bring up. As an example, Andy Grove and Naval Ravikant treat Lever This was a frustrating book to read. While the authors brought up some interesting principles/mental models, there was a lot of pseudoscience (like "It is probable that that people first discovered catalysis when alcohol was invented", or "Although the science continues to advance, we lack a comprehensive definition or how many catalysts actually work") Moreover, they were limited in treating the interesting mental models they did bring up. As an example, Andy Grove and Naval Ravikant treat Leverage as something to build so you can get more output with less input, while the authors bafflingly treat is something that can be used to exploit others. Having said that, there were some interesting mental models that I meditated on thanks to this book (interesting raisins hidden in a lot of turd) 1. Autocatalysis is when the outputs of a reaction are the same catalysts needed to start it. When this happens the reaction becomes self-sustaining and happens rapidly 2. The Red Queen Effect: You can’t stop adapting, because no one around you is stopping. If you do, your competitive position declines, bringing your survival into question. Every living thing is constantly on the lookout for opportunity, the place to accrue advantage. From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: the Red Queen tells Alice, “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” 3. Gause’s Law: perfect competition between two species requiring the same resources to survive in the same niche is impossible. Two species of bacteria requiring the same resources could not coexist in a petri dish. One species will find its own niche by becoming increasingly specialized to require different resources from the other On the whole, would not recommend

  8. 4 out of 5

    Debjeet

    The reason i am giving 4* &not 5* because most of the mental models have been covered in farnam street blog which i had been religiously following since 2018. This book is good in a sense that it weaves a beautiful structure where that mental tools has been applied in past and where this tools can be followed in day to day sense. The different stories revolving different mental from battle to discoveries to innovation to philosophy is really fascinating. I have been reading books on mental tool fo The reason i am giving 4* &not 5* because most of the mental models have been covered in farnam street blog which i had been religiously following since 2018. This book is good in a sense that it weaves a beautiful structure where that mental tools has been applied in past and where this tools can be followed in day to day sense. The different stories revolving different mental from battle to discoveries to innovation to philosophy is really fascinating. I have been reading books on mental tool for a while two more interesting book on mental tool is superthinking which also got lots of mental hacks and thinking fast and slow which talks about heuristics

  9. 4 out of 5

    The Mole

    Honestly! I didn't fully read this one. After reading all of the last book, I found that the chapter conclusions were more than enough to give me the core idea. I still think there's way too much fluff in these books. Good idea, but a lot of unnecessary examples and over explanation going on. Honestly! I didn't fully read this one. After reading all of the last book, I found that the chapter conclusions were more than enough to give me the core idea. I still think there's way too much fluff in these books. Good idea, but a lot of unnecessary examples and over explanation going on.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Gorgeous book that will help you apply mental models from the sciences.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Will Bowers

    An excellent application of scientific principles to thought patterns. This book is intriguing throughout. I say this being totally unbiased by my appearance in the acknowledgements.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kilian Markert

    Second part of the series on mental models, this one is much longer and in my opinion way too long. The book goes into even more length than part 1 trying to give real life examples connected to the mental models. Some of them didn't really fit, while a few where quite interesting and others left me asking, so what? Also a lot of it is just pretty obvious and not containing any valuable lesson for your life. Valuable take aways however where: 1. Relativity and limited perspective "You will always h Second part of the series on mental models, this one is much longer and in my opinion way too long. The book goes into even more length than part 1 trying to give real life examples connected to the mental models. Some of them didn't really fit, while a few where quite interesting and others left me asking, so what? Also a lot of it is just pretty obvious and not containing any valuable lesson for your life. Valuable take aways however where: 1. Relativity and limited perspective "You will always have limitations to your frame of reference that you need to account for in an effort to better understand reality. You have a limited perspective. Many problems become clearer if you extend the timeline. What does this situation look like in the weeks, months, and years ahead? Assuming different perspectives allows you to gain a more complete understanding of what’s really going on." 2. Loss aversion people are willing to risk losing $ 100 for every $ 250 of potential gains. The loss aversion coefficient is 1: 2.5. 3. Speed vs velocity "Velocity is often confused with speed, but the two concepts are very different. Speed is just movement; even if you are running in place, you have speed. Velocity has direction. You must go somewhere in order to have velocity. This model teaches us that it’s much more important to pay attention to where you are going and not how fast you are moving. " 4. Fun fact about goosebumps "The human goosebump reaction to stress or fear is a vestigial response, based on how our ancestors would have fluffed up their fur to look bigger when confronted with a predator." 5. Reminder about cognitive dissonance "Humans don’t like cognitive dissonance—“the state of tension that occurs whenever a person holds two cognitions (ideas, attitudes, beliefs, opinions) that are psychologically inconsistent.” And then justifying things irrationally to avoid that dissonance.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Scott Wozniak

    This book takes some of the major scientific ideas of our day and then applies them in metaphorical ways to life and leadership. For example, inertia can be used to understand why it's hard to change habits and the second law of thermodynamics (everything slides to disorder/decay unless acted on by an outside energy source) can be used to show how we need to keep pouring new ideas and tools and people into our organizations to keep them healthy and strong. It's well written and easy to read, espe This book takes some of the major scientific ideas of our day and then applies them in metaphorical ways to life and leadership. For example, inertia can be used to understand why it's hard to change habits and the second law of thermodynamics (everything slides to disorder/decay unless acted on by an outside energy source) can be used to show how we need to keep pouring new ideas and tools and people into our organizations to keep them healthy and strong. It's well written and easy to read, especially good at explaining the science in a way that doesn't require prior technical knowledge. However, the author couldn't resist making disparaging comments about worldviews and cultures that he doesn't agree with, distracting from the flow of the book for me. To be clear, I like thoughtful challenge, but the single sentence added to the end of the paragraph without any explanation or evidence was unhelpful, especially in a book about how scientific thinking was a helpful way to think. Still worth reading, though, as the main points were good food for though.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aritra Bose

    My introduction to mental models has been through Shane’s works, and this book is just another step towards that goal. The first one in the series introduced me to number of new models altogether, this one takes concepts from known subjects (speed, velocity, alloys to name a few) and synthesises a new paradigm to watch the world through. To internalise these, one needs to devote time, and more importantly commitment, but once you get hooked, there’s no looking back. I found more analogies cited My introduction to mental models has been through Shane’s works, and this book is just another step towards that goal. The first one in the series introduced me to number of new models altogether, this one takes concepts from known subjects (speed, velocity, alloys to name a few) and synthesises a new paradigm to watch the world through. To internalise these, one needs to devote time, and more importantly commitment, but once you get hooked, there’s no looking back. I found more analogies cited in this version than the previous one, which was welcome. Overall, it is deep work, and one with very high ROIs if one is sufficiently invested. The book does a very good job of bringing together multi disciplinary concepts and asking the reader to start looking through those .... the view out there is altogether new.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jerome

    I read the first volume and loved it. I've been a fan of the Farnam Street blog for some time now and was really happy for this series to come out. At first, I thought this was going to be more "telling" and less "storytelling", given the subtitle. But the great thing about this book is that it uses the properties and principles of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology to tell historical and modern day lessons in a captivating way. Unfortunately, the audio version has a professional narrator so the li I read the first volume and loved it. I've been a fan of the Farnam Street blog for some time now and was really happy for this series to come out. At first, I thought this was going to be more "telling" and less "storytelling", given the subtitle. But the great thing about this book is that it uses the properties and principles of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology to tell historical and modern day lessons in a captivating way. Unfortunately, the audio version has a professional narrator so the listener is deprived of the lovely Canadian accent that was present in the first volume (Hi Shane, great work!). I can't recommend this series enough and look forward to re-listening soon.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Javier Rivero

    This is not a book about mental models, in it’s lengthy entirety, this work describes fundamental concepts from physics, chemistry and biology. So if you didn’t attend high school and don’t know what Evolution or Velocity mean, then this book will probably help you out understanding this basic principles. To add more, each concept forces an example/analogy from outside the hard sciences such as “how the tea is so popular worldwide” and makes it feel cramped just to fit the original concept, and w This is not a book about mental models, in it’s lengthy entirety, this work describes fundamental concepts from physics, chemistry and biology. So if you didn’t attend high school and don’t know what Evolution or Velocity mean, then this book will probably help you out understanding this basic principles. To add more, each concept forces an example/analogy from outside the hard sciences such as “how the tea is so popular worldwide” and makes it feel cramped just to fit the original concept, and worst of all, this “examples/analogies” are not just forced but tedious and way prolonged

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    Wonderful read, as usually from Shane Parrish, on mental models. This is the 2nd volume in their work. While some of this is repeated from the great work Shane's team does on the Farnam Street website, there is some great stuff here. The writing is succinct but well written, and making it easy to follow and easy to learn from. I really enjoyed the models and examples here, plus some tips at the end on how to implement this. Great stuff. Keep up the good work Shane! Wonderful read, as usually from Shane Parrish, on mental models. This is the 2nd volume in their work. While some of this is repeated from the great work Shane's team does on the Farnam Street website, there is some great stuff here. The writing is succinct but well written, and making it easy to follow and easy to learn from. I really enjoyed the models and examples here, plus some tips at the end on how to implement this. Great stuff. Keep up the good work Shane!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Mildly interesting for the anecdotes, but the application of any of these hasn't really hit home. I see some of them in my day to day, but feel like I already have mental models (e.g., activation energy vs. critical mass, alloying vs. greater than the sum of their parts, niches vs. specialization vs. T's and I's). I'll try to keep the concepts in mind, but it definitely didn't hit home while reading. Mildly interesting for the anecdotes, but the application of any of these hasn't really hit home. I see some of them in my day to day, but feel like I already have mental models (e.g., activation energy vs. critical mass, alloying vs. greater than the sum of their parts, niches vs. specialization vs. T's and I's). I'll try to keep the concepts in mind, but it definitely didn't hit home while reading.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ams Leafs

    I really enjoyed this and am excited for volume 3 to come out. I like the style of this and Robert Greene's books of incorporating historical examples to strengthen points (as I find my knowledge of history to be weak at best). I hope to find more similar authors. Thanks for writing this book! I really enjoyed this and am excited for volume 3 to come out. I like the style of this and Robert Greene's books of incorporating historical examples to strengthen points (as I find my knowledge of history to be weak at best). I hope to find more similar authors. Thanks for writing this book!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    For whatever reason, the idea of limiting reactants from high school chemistry class has been a "mental model" that I have applied to many other areas of life. I enjoyed sharing notes and getting some new ideas in these areas that I have such little experience in. I look forward to the volume that will cover math... For whatever reason, the idea of limiting reactants from high school chemistry class has been a "mental model" that I have applied to many other areas of life. I enjoyed sharing notes and getting some new ideas in these areas that I have such little experience in. I look forward to the volume that will cover math...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nimex10

    “Charlie” here we go...! Can’t wait for Volume 3. I like the fact that the book introduces the models in a pretty simple, general and understandable manner... but I experienced it will take a whole different level of research and application of the models in order to let it stick... and remain as a lattice-work in my/your head as someone suggested... Love it!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Yanal

    A toolkit for life Building on his first volume, this book captures the models from physics, chemistry, and biology.Great reference to always go back to for attacking problems or challenges in your life.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bharadwaj Machiraju

    Probably being from a science based background, most of these models seem trivial. Examples make them stick better and yes just like previous volume, reading more on these models on the side was useful.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Madhur Bhargava

    The book is worth it's weight in gold. It provides the reader a variety of lenses from sciences to see how these the learnings from various streams can be picked up as-is and can be applied into a problem in a totally unrelated field. Nuf said, a highly recommend read. The book is worth it's weight in gold. It provides the reader a variety of lenses from sciences to see how these the learnings from various streams can be picked up as-is and can be applied into a problem in a totally unrelated field. Nuf said, a highly recommend read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joey

    Didn't love this as much as volume 1 but still a good book to read. I didn't agree with the author's use of certain models, but still found it enlightening and well worth reading. Note that this volume is about 2x long (and probably 2x as dense for the average reader) when compared with volume 1. Didn't love this as much as volume 1 but still a good book to read. I didn't agree with the author's use of certain models, but still found it enlightening and well worth reading. Note that this volume is about 2x long (and probably 2x as dense for the average reader) when compared with volume 1.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ivars

    Waiting for volume 3 The second volume of mental models is great, even more insightful than the first one. Been following Farnam st blog and podcast for years and Mental Models are at the heart of their thinking about life. Recommended

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joanne McKinnon

    Much required Just reading the author’s newsletter improved my decision making. I am now less vulnerable to manipulations. The mental models are based on facts not fiction. A way to reinforce your logical mind.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Akash Chauhan

    Only good for those who do not have a science background as all are basics taught in school.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Liljenström

    Amazing book, especially the physics and chemistry sections. A must read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sumit Gupta

    Exceptional.Timeless wisdom..

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