The Latticework

The power of a proper mental framework is that it is descriptive, predictive, and helps expose blind spots – and all mistakes come from blind spots. This is beautifully exemplified by Dmitri Mendeleev and his Periodic Table of Elements.

Mendeleev was a Russian chemist who discovered that elements could be organized by their atomic mass and valence, revealing that their chemical properties are derived from these two characteristics.

This discovery went on to become the Periodic Law, an early version of the periodic table of elements. Amazingly, his new framework for organizing the elements allowed him to correct the properties of some already known elements and predict the properties of eight, which were yet to be discovered! People mocked him at first and called him crazy, but he was so confident in his structure that he even left missing spaces in his table for some yet to be discovered elements. He was vindicated when gallium (Ga) and germanium (Ge) were discovered in 1875 and 1886, respectively, and fit perfectly into the two empty slots he left for them.

Mendeleev’s insights created a structure for which to organize the elements, deepening our understanding of the world and making our collective future efforts more effective.

This is precisely what we are hoping to achieve with The Latticework. If we can create our own “periodic table of elements” or “latticework” in which to organize, categorize, and interconnect our knowledge, we too can deepen our understanding of the world, allowing us to make better decisions, make fewer mistakes, and live more effective and fulfilling lives.

If the facts don’t hang together on a latticework of theory, you don’t have them in a usable form. You’ve got to have models in your head. And you’ve got to array your experience both vicarious and direct on this latticework of models. 

– Charlie Munger

We hope this multidisciplinary resource and community helps structure and inform your latticework, widening your perspective, and positively impacting how you live and interact with the world around you. We also hope you disagree with parts of it (we’re just students, not experts) and can explain things more clearly and completely than they currently are. That way, we can simultaneously improve the resource and ourselves. This process truly is an infinite game – a journey worth starting and never finishing.

We’re still in beta, but if this resonates with you, send us an email with “The Latticework” in the Message field. We’ll then put you on our mailing list and make sure you receive any future updates.