Our broken mental models are at the root of global systemic crises

The Problem with mental models

O Society

by Ugo Bardi and David Packer edited by O Society Jan 15, 2020

Old and new media produce an unprecedented tide drawing us into a sea of competing mental models of the world. Even in a “post-fact world,” we link bits of information together to form these mental models, a.k.a. “intuition.”

Most of us try to fit new facts into established mental models, only occasionally testing our original assumptions, if ever. Can anyone’s mental models cope with the increasing complexities and myriad interconnections of our globalized economic, political and social system?

In a democratic society, the answer to that question is found in elections, which are an exercise in turning the levers of government over to individuals who have persuaded us of the rightness of their mental models, or at least the ruin that their opponents’ models would rain down upon us.

Successful politicians and corporate CEOs play their part…

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