What do op-eds, Squawk Box, and SimCity have in common? The are all examples of models–simplified systems that help us understand the world–mental models, financial models, and sociopolitical models.
I don’t read newspapers anymore. I glance at headlines, but head straight for the last page of several papers to read the opinion pieces. I find that I get enough of a news feed through my iGoogle page, mobile news, TV, and NPR. What I’m really interested in are opinion pieces that reflect one smart person’s mental model. Most Op-Eds are second order news–current events processed through one person’s model. They usually interpret events (sense making) and often advocate actions they think will produce positive outcomes (predictions).
I don’t trade individual securities, but I like to watch CNBC while I work out because I enjoy listening to people attempt to interpret a dynamic set of inputs. The futures markets are particularly interesting and sophisticated attempts to predict the outcomes of multiple scenarios, like what does Libya have to do with Iowa corn?
The objective of SimCity is to build and operate a city. Simulation games like SimCity simplify millions of social, political, and logistical variables in to a few hundred and collapse decades of time into hours.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com