November 5, 2022




The Tony Marsh Method, Checklists, Table Selection & More

At a glance

Welcome to the new friends of the A Players newsletter who have joined us since last week!

This Week: 8 mental models for better thinking

The Tony Marsh Method

When trying to remember something, encode the memory as closely as possible to the environment in which it will be retrieved.

If you want to learn French, don’t spend time in the classroom, speak to native speakers in France.

Your memory will improve.


Checklists are valuable for two reasons:

(1) Improving or automating is easier once the steps are on paper.

(2) Perfect process is guaranteed, minimizing the scope for errors.

Where can you use a checklist to improve or automate steps in your life or work?

Table Selection

The game you play—or the table you select—is more important than how you play.

You don’t need to get good at doing difficult things if you get good at avoiding difficult things.

If you want to win, pick an easy table and nail your execution.


Antifragility is benefitting from disorder, change, or unexpected events.

The things that have survived the longest in the universe have an antifragile system in place—the things that haven’t, don’t.

To succeed long-term, we should strive to be antifragile.

Lindy Effect

Non-perishable objects, ideas, or technologies are expected to live proportionally to their current age.

Something lives for 50 years, it’s expected to live for another 50 years.

Every further year implies a longer remaining life expectancy.

h/t Albert Goldman

The Chimpanzee Test

When chimpanzees have a better test score than people basing their decisions on either ‘knowledge’ or ‘educated’ guesses.

We know less than we think we do.

Think twice before making ‘educated’ statements on global issues.


The act of ignoring one-half of a topic (costs or benefits).

If you want to convince people to change their opinions, always compare the full costs to the full benefits.

A full opinion is credible. And credible people change minds.

h/t @ScottAdamsSays

Chesterton's Fence

Don’t remove a fence until you know why it was put up in the first place.

Unless we know why a decision was made, we can’t safely conclude it was wrong—there may be hidden reasons.

The first step to modifying an existing system is to fully understand it.

There you have it, 8 mental models that will make you smarter.

I hope you found these as helpful as I have.

Stay curious,


P.S. — If you're looking for a new gig, I might be able to help!

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If you're in the market for a new gig, head over to A Players and apply!

🔗 Favourite links of the week 🔗

  1. Decision Making: A Framework That Works
  2. Marc Andreessen Guide to Personal Productivity
  3. Ali Abdaal Top Time Management Tips

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