Diaminds - a new multidimensional perspective on reality


Staff member
I have started to read a book by some smart dudes called Mihnea C. Moldoveanu and Roger Martin. The full book title is...

Diaminds: Decoding the Mental Habits of Successful Thinkers


It is a relatively obscure book but it is right up my street! Professor Moldoveanu talks about thinking using a multi-pronged approach, similar to the likes of Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's business partner.

It reads very academically and is fairly heavy going. But the insights are unique. I am loving it.

Today, I got to the part where he talks about the Diamind taking this multidimensional view of problems. He gives an analogy which I really liked...

Our minds are like a big fishing net, seeking fish (answers). We cast our net out with round holes into the world, and we retrieve fish (answers) that are square shaped. All the round shaped fish got away! Likewise, the fisherman who has a net with square holes gets all the round shaped fish, leaving the square shaped fish behind.

This simple analogy was mind blowing for me. It explains so much, including what goes on with the debates in this forum.

Let me give an example:

We talk about topics on gender. Our perspective and nets are focused on the fish shaped for our particular gender. Men apply more weight to men's issues, while women apply more to their own issues. Consequently, we have a fish fight! Same for Left versus Right politics. And the list goes on.

When seeking to bring evidence to the table to bolster our own arguments, we only cast the net with our shaped holes that match our self-interests.

The authors suggest we should apply a multidisciplinary approach to thinking, where you attack the same problem from multiple dimensions. Only once you do that, can you spot - for example - Black Swan events, those rare occurrences that seem impossible to predict, because we are only using the one lens.

Food for thought!
While it is not exactly the same, a good systems administrator has to apply multi-dimensional viewpoints. If you read Douglas Hofstadter's The Eternal Golden Braid: Goedel, Escher and Bach, you would find a chapter on Reductionism and Wholism - the mental ability to see both the forest AND the trees at will. It is how a system analyst breaks down procedures for recognition of "what's going on here?"

Not an exact analogy, but it IS an example of choosing the porosity of your net when you cast it.


Staff member
I think that works Doc. Your net has both large and small holes, although technically the small holes will also catch the large fish! But essentially, you are casting your net based on magnitude.