All Models are Wrong; Some Models are Useful | Designing  service |

Models are representations and simplifications of reality. Models help us to understand, but do not in any way describe the full reality.

All models are wrong, some models are useful. And yet they serve a great purpose: to give us insights.

Models help us to navigate through complex situations. They are useful, and yet incomplete and incorrect. When they are ingrained in our perception of the world, we start to use them more as an automated thinking processes. We mix up the model with reality. We start to see the world through the eyes of the model. Whilst initially it was only intended to understand the given situation.

We do not look at reality anymore, as we just project the model on reality.

So models are useful, and yet they are all wrong. When we start to use models as truths, it starts to decrease our capacity to see beyond the model.

A model is useful as long as it is useful. Models work as long as they provide new insights. As long as they allow you to study more intensively the subject of matter. As soon as the model starts to provide answers that come from the model itself and not from reality, the model becomes obsolete.


Via Len Netti