Model Thinking class [link]

post by Dr_Manhattan · 2012-02-20T18:27:51.909Z · score: 6 (7 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 5 comments

As part of the expansion of Stanford's effort to open up some of their courseware Scott Page is giving Model Thinking course, which I suspect a lot of people here might like. There is quite a bit of Schelling-type modeling applied to a wide range of problems. The course is live, but it's not too late to sign up -


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comment by shokwave · 2012-02-25T14:15:22.850Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Some of the lectures contain hard-to-package information for the purposes of spaced repetition, but I'll at least attempt to produce and update an Anki deck for this course.

comment by Emile · 2012-02-21T16:24:52.476Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This comes off as already-known ideas packaged under a new flashy name - I recently read a book (recommended here) on "System Thinking" that seemed to be similar ideas sold under a different name (I was pretty disappointed by the book, I was familiar with most of the content but they were selling it as if it was this brand new hot thing they just invented). Apparently, "Design Thinking" may cover some similar ground.

There are valid and useful ideas in there, but I get frustrated where the relationship between various fields seems deliberately obfuscated because of academic politics or brand marketing.

Maybe if I become a credentialed academic I'll write a book on "holistic emergent thinking", with the same ideas.

comment by Dr_Manhattan · 2012-02-21T17:47:28.774Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Few things I want to point out:

  • I think you overestimate how not widespread these ideas are outside of your circle. I work for a well known tech company with fairly high hiring standards, and people who think on this level are yet to be found (a drop in the bucket).

  • I think Scott Page particularly does not try to market this as a "his new discovery" - he traces a lot to advanced thinkers in other disciplines (e.g. Schelling)

  • This is a "course" with intention to teach these ideas to a greater extent than reading a book would.

I resisted down-voting the above out of general respect for you, but it's basically a tirade. Just pointing this out.

comment by Emile · 2012-02-21T20:16:24.523Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Valid points - I was probably mostly expressing my disappointment with some aspects of "Thinking in Systems" (which was still a good book overall). So "tirade" seems right, though I honestly would like to know if other people have the same impression, or have a better explanation for overlapping fields with unclear names.

comment by Anubhav · 2012-02-21T02:10:53.644Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I signed up.

Don't know if I'll stick with it though, too many interesting-looking courses in the pipeline.