MENTAL MODELS - Derivatives of Thought

Updated: Sep 10

“No one is original. Everyone is derivative.” - Sony Rollins


What is Derivative?


Something is changing with respect to something else. It’s one of the most important inventions in history by humanity.


Derivatives is used in three angles:


Mathematics & Physics = Derivative is a calculation of the gradient/slope at any point in Line. (slope = change in y / change in x). Velocity is the derivative of position with respect to time. (v = dy/dt).


Finance & Investment = Derivatives are financial contracts, set between two or more parties, that derive their value from an underlying asset, group of assets, or benchmark. (Index Funds, Options, Forward Contracts, Real Estate Property, Foreign Currency)


Biology & Chemistry = Derivative is a compound produced from an original compound either directly or by modification or partial substitution of compound. (Carbolic acid is derivative of Benzene)


Derivative in Mathematics & Physics
Image by Author - Derivative in Mathematics & Physics

So, in my opinion, Mental Models are the derivatives of human thoughts (mind map) which influence the behaviour and can also derive something new from the original, a kind of remix. So in general terms they are also called "Concept Maps".


“You need a different checklist and different mental models for different companies. I can never make it easy by saying, 'Here are three things.' you have to derive it yourself to ingrain it in your head for the rest of your life.” - Charlie Munger


“Wisdom is not wisdom when it is derived from books alone.” - Horace


“In nature nothing creates itself and nothing destroys itself.” - Maria Montessori


My first derivative quote using the concept of Biology & Chemistry angle.


Original: “In the age of infinite leverage, judgment is an important skill.” - Naval Ravikant

Derivative: “In the age of infinite distraction, reflection is the key skill.” - Quantum Thinker


This post will be updated time to time based on new insights and knowledge, I came across. (Updated 21 March 2022)


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