Dear close friends and family:
Thank you for taking the time to mess around with our collaboration tool! It means a lot. The overarching goal is to create a valuable learning resource, one that allows for compound interest to be gained not only on our personal learnings, but from that of others as well – and this tool is central to that.
I’ve always found that online communities and forums were difficult to follow. The discussion is typically on a wholly separate page from the core article and the context quickly gets lost.
This tool is different in that it is embedded directly into the page so that there is no need for context switching. The topic and the discussion around it are intricately intertwined and connected, allowing for deeper, more intuitive, and more fluid collaboration to take place.
Through the ability to add highlights and notes, share sections, create private learning groups, and more, we will be able to better learn from and with each other.
To get started, login using the “My Account” link in the main menu at the top right hand side of the screen. The username is your email and the password is “Lattice.” This will give you access to start using the tool. It’s as simple as selecting some text! Once you do that, the tool bar will appear from the right hand side and you can go from there – adding highlights, notes, creating groups, sharing, and more.
What we’re hoping to learn from this small beta test is how you like the tool but, more importantly, what don’t you like. Is it intuitive? What doesn’t work well? What features would you like to see added? Anything we can remove? Really, whatever comes to mind as you’re using this tool we’d like to hear about. Please feel free to add your notes and feedback directly on this page (or create a group and invite me to it if you’d prefer to share feedback privately) and we’ll then know what to focus on moving forward.
Again, thank you! You’re an integral part in helping make The Latticework a truly special learning resource and community!
My m.o. across all my projects is always the same – I like simple solutions, to overlooked problems, that actually need to be solved and deliver them as informally as possible, starting with a very crude version 1, then iterating rapidly. – Paul Graham
The Latticework’s vision is to:
1. Create a valuable multidisciplinary learning resource
2. Leverage this resource to build an all-in community
3. Leverage this community and its feedback to build better learning tools, enhancing how people read, learn, and collaborate
1. A Valuable Learning Resource
Central to The Latticework is the belief that becoming a multidisciplinary learner and thinker is a lifelong goal worth pursuing. Everything we learn interlocks and becomes self-reinforcing, allowing our knowledge to compound over time. The more we learn, the more we can learn. This isn’t magic. We simply have more context on which to hang new ideas, learnings, and experiences – and this is the “latticework” for which this resource is named.
The power of The Latticework lies in the fact that the big ideas from the big disciplines have been curated and interconnected in one organized, dynamic, and ever-improving resource. This structure makes becoming a multidisciplinary learner and thinker more seamless, simple, fun, and approachable as we can more easily attach new knowledge to previous knowledge.
The Latticework is currently divided into 24 “Big Disciplines” (such as Worldly Wisdom), with each discipline having a varying number of “Big Ideas” (such as The Three Buckets). This amounts to thousands of pages distilled down from thousands of books, podcasts, interviews, learnings from mentors, and other resources.1A sister site to The Latticework is The Rabbit Hole. This site contains over 600 book summaries and other worthwhile resources that serve as the foundational learnings that have fueled The Latticework. While this endeavor may seem overwhelming, if approached properly, it doesn’t need to be. For example, when first starting to learn something new, it may be difficult to even know where to start. However, by following Munger’s playbook on how to best learn – breadth, depth, and synthesis – you may uncover the general principles without having to see every one of its various illustrations. We do not seek to be the next Wikipedia (which is, of course, a world wonder), but to be a trusted, curated, organized, and interconnected resource that can help us become more effective thinkers. In a world full of noise, signal and brevity are our guiding lights.
If you understand a general principle, you don’t need to see every one of its illustrations.
– Henry David Thoreau
We believe that these disciplines and ideas are interdependent rather than hierarchical so, while we begin with the hard sciences and believe they serve as a robust foundation for our latticework, there is clearly no “correct” way to organize or interconnect these ideas – it is simply our attempt to provide a structure to this journey. While it might be helpful to start with the learning roadmap we’ve put together, don’t feel like you need to move through this list linearly – it can be read piece-meal or consumed whole. Start with what intrigues you most and jump around, following your curiosity.2A useful way to do this is through the “Interconnected Ideas” section that accompanies each Big Idea. Don’t be intimidated or put off if you’re not into the hard sciences. We begin with these disciplines because they serve as a robust foundation for our latticework. You can learn more about why that is through our Three Bucket framework within Worldly Wisdom.
Each discipline introduces why the ideas covered in that specific field are valuable. Each idea is then explained, providing an understanding of the idea and how it might be applied to your life. The Big Ideas follow an explanation framework learned from Kalid Azad: The ADEPT Method. ADEPT stands for:
- Analogy – tell me what it’s like
- Diagram – help me visualize it
- Example – allow me to experience it
- Plain English – describe it with everyday words
- Technical Description – discuss the formal details
This framework provides several different vantage points from which to view an idea, allowing a broad spectrum of learners and levels of expertise to approach the idea in a manner that is appropriate for them. Mix it up and discover which vantage point works best for you.3For example, I like to start with Example, but my wife prefers to start with Plain English.
It is also important to clarify what The Latticework is not. It is not meant to be comprehensive, a catch-all, nor a playbook. It is no recipe for success, and it cannot replace your own deep reading and deep thinking. Because we prioritize utility and brevity over completeness, ideas that are fundamental to a discipline will undoubtedly be neglected but, remember, the goal is a curated work of the most relevant and usable ideas, not a detailed manifesto on every discipline. We are confident that this list of ideas is not complete and the beauty of hosting this resource online is that it is dynamic and will allow us to keep improving it over time with the help of our all-in community.4We’ve used ideas, quotes, and writings from a great variety of people and sources and have done our best to always include a link or citation to the primary source. But, if you see something that isn’t referenced properly, please reach out so that we can fix it.
2. All-In Community
While the resource is tremendously valuable on its own, it is naturally and admittedly incomplete (we’re simply students, not experts!).5The fact that the book is not (and maybe cannot) ever be complete or correct is why I think hosting a resource like this online rather than in a physical book works so well! But, through the contributions made by our engaged and all-in community, we’ll be able to improve it together over time, allowing for Lollapalooza Effects to emerge. The highlights, ideas, comments, and feedback will enhance The Latticework by improving the rate of the transmission of knowledge, by making clear which areas need clarification, by allowing us to learn from and with people we admire, and by facilitating partner-suggested improvements. This creates an open and dynamic system that is continuously learning, iterating, and improving, building an immensely valuable multidisciplinary learning community in the process.
Any robust community requires trust, respect, social capital / reputation, high context, skin in the game, and engagement from its partners, and The Latticework is no different. Through this process, we are looking to attract those who are excited to co-create an effective multidisciplinary learning community. If our Core Values and the following criteria resonate, this may be for you:
- Curiosity in a broad range of disciplines
- Seeking wisdom that actively enhances your thinking, decision-making, and life
- Desire to be an active, contributing member of an all-in community
We consider things like honesty, trust, and integrity so fundamental that they don’t need to be stated and, in that sense, they aren’t part of our Core Values. What follows are the key pillars that set us apart from most, guiding our every action and decision:
- Long-Term Games With Long-Term People – we don’t believe in finish lines, we play for the joy of playing, positive-sum > zero-sum, infinite games and infinite thinking6See James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games and Naval’s How to Get Rich Without Getting Lucky for more background and detail on this
- Win/Win – the invariant strategy for sustained success7We will dig into Game Theory in the future that will help explain why this is and why tit-for-tat with forgiveness has proven to be the optimal strategy
- Velocity > Mass – speed + proper vector is key to catalyzing success and luck (KE = 1/2M*V2)
- Simplicity > Genius – making the complex simple (but not simplistic), less but better, exploiting unrecognized simplicities8As Andy Benoit’s fantastic quote from The Case for the…Broncos goes, “Most geniuses – especially those who lead others – prosper not by deconstructing intricate complexities but by exploiting unrecognized simplicities.”
- We > Me – to teach is to learn, sharing knowledge compounds it, better together9An idea we fell in love with and learned from Edward Tufte is that of a resource being “self-exemplifying” – meaning he wanted the books themselves to reflect the principles he wanted to get across. We are aiming for the exact same thing – deeply incorporating and embodying these principles throughout the resource, community, and in our every action.
Key to achieving The Latticework’s vision is setting proper guidelines / incentives and creating the necessary tools to drive the type of behavior, culture, and interactions desired on our platform and to filter out those we don’t. In that vein, we have established some guiding principles for how the resource and our community are to be treated.
- First, Do No Harm – Any form of verbal abuse or attacks will not be tolerated. We would rather have a small, yet deeply engaged, trusting, and all-in community than a massive one with no trust. Quality begets quality, so we won’t be afraid to kick off bad actors and content which don’t further our Core Values. It’s okay to disagree – it’s not okay to attack.10Certain successful states, such as Singapore (who has grown GDP at ~6.5% for over 50 years!), have proven there is a “trust and loyalty multiplier.” For example, a 1% drop in a state’s corruption leads to a ~1.7% rise in GDP. Good governance matters and is a fundamental piece in how we’ve thought about and set up The Latticework. If you see something that you feel doesn’t abide by our core values, contact us.
- Kind > Clever – don’t treat others the way you wouldn’t like them to treat you. Assume ignorance over malice.11This is also known as Taleb’s “Silver Rule” because it is the inverse of the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you.) Taleb argues that the inverse is more robust, and we happen to agree.
- Add Value – Consider this your community and your resource. How can you be useful in order to make it more beautiful and valuable for yourself and everyone involved? Give as much as you take, if not more!
We depend on our all-in community to report violations of our community’s rules and guidelines. If you want to report a potential violation, please fill out the form here.
3. Better Learning Tools
One of the massive second-order benefits of having an all-in community is that we can directly tap into and learn from our partners, seeing what problems they have and ensuring we are deeply focused on making things they want. Our partner’s curiosity and feedback help us shape and mold an array of learning tools to better personalize and optimize for the types of interactions, behaviors, collaboration, education, and culture that our partners are seeking.
Specifically, some of the future features we want to incorporate include:
- Sharing, connecting, filtering, searching, tagging, referring, chatting, liking, and discovering quality content and comments
- The ability to follow partners, seeing and sharing their comments, highlights, and annotations12A powerful learning experience is getting the opportunity to read something which has been highlighted and commented upon by someone brilliant (check out this beautiful example by Vinod Khosla). This provides a window into their brain, how they think, what stood out to them, the connections they made. We are so excited about these collaborative features because we can harness the power of this type of learning on a scale that has not yet been taken advantage of.
- Knowledge mapping through a personalized Latticework and partner profile page13Check out the following resources to get some idea of where we want to take the visualization of this thing: 150 years of Nature Papers, Microsoft AI Labs/JFK Files, Wikiverse!
- Creation of sub-communities and mentorships to spark meaningful interactions and collaboration
- Facilitate user-suggested improvements to help refine, enhance, and scale The Latticework’s effectiveness and value over time14If these core ideas become accessible, approachable, and actionable, we can help people become better thinkers, make better decisions, and live better lives. Maybe this framework and community can help change how education on a broad level is approached?
- 1-page summaries, an app, and an audio version to be used as daily “reference guides”
- More features that we can’t even imagine at this point, but let us know what we’re missing and what you’d like to see exist!
Next: Join Us