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The Chaos Map is useful as "mental surface to think on"

The Chaos Map is useful as "mental surface to think on"

While it's not prescriptive for any particular situation, the Chaos Map can be useful as a mental "surface to think on." Once the basics are understood, many people find it usefu as a way to:

  1. Spatially relate people and ideas: As we learn about new philosophies and ways of living or working, its helpful to place & relate them in a visual space instead of relying on descriptive memory. The Chaos Map and other mental models help accelerate learning by reducing the amount of categorical, descriptive contextual information we need to hold in heads in order to gain new insights.
  2. Rise above the fray: As we map the conflict between people or groups, putting some it over here and other parts over there, we naturally rise above it rather than getting tossed around within it. It's almost therapeutic.

“Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.”

~ from
Viktor Frankl quoting Spinoza in Man's Search for Meaning
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