Explicit Model

#concept18 mentions

An explicit Model is a consciously articulated, interpretive description of a target System that can be the object of the modelling system’s attention.This is in contrast to Implicit Models.

Explicit models are built from Concepts and thus systems of concepts. As such, they can take various forms,

for example, texts, diagrams, plots of empirical data, objects, or mathematical equations. These “external representations” are tools in terms of which the model is expressed.Bailer-Jones (2009), 186

A typical expression of an explicit model is a Theory.

In biological systems, explicit models have evolved for offline reasoning:

[I]f the organism carries a ‘small-scale model’’ of external reality and of its own possible actions within its head, it is able to try out various alternatives, conclude which is the best of them, react to future situations before they arise, utilise the knowledge of past events in dealing with the present and future, and in every way to react in a much fuller, safer, and more competent manner to the emergencies which face it.Craik (1943), 61


Concept Mapping

What Concept Mapping is a tool for collaborative Sensemaking.

Cultural Evolution Is Multilevel Meme Variation, Selection and Replication

Cultural Evolution is the change of information capable of affecting individuals’ behavior over time.

Generative Model

A generative Model > aims to capture the statistical structure of some set of observed inputs by tracking […] the causal matrix responsible for that very structure.

Implicit Model

An implicit Model is an evolved, embodied representation of a System’s Environment.


Knowledge of something is “the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject”.


A model is a simplified representation of a System.

Prioritise Exploration Over Exploitation

A System samples its Environment to build, update and use Models of it.

Rationalism Is Not Rational

Rationalism à la Eliezer Yudkowsky has two connected fundamental flaws – an ontological and an epistemological one.

Revolutions Try to Force Systems into Imaginary Attractors

All political revolutionaries imagine a future constellation of their society and, if and when they succeed in disrupting the old system, use Power to implement the new one.

Scale Free Abstraction

Scale-free abstractions are a specific type of Shorthand Abstractions: highly general concepts taken from our best current thinking about evolution, cognition, and the world as a hierarchy of systems.

Sensemaking Framework

A Sensemaking framework is the codification of useful sensemaking practices[^useful], i.


We make sense of the world in order to act in it.

Separate Explanation from Emotion

The world is a hierarchy of systems.

Shorthand Abstraction

Shorthand Abstractions are Concepts that enable us to build more complex Explicit Models by compressing the models they stand in for.

Strategy Is a Learning Process

Strategy is de facto always an iterative learning process, even if this is often not made explicit and information gaps between iterations make it less effective and efficient.

Strategy Is Based on Models

Every Strategy is based on an (implicit or explicit) assessment of the situation, that is the Model a System has of its Environment.


Technology is “a collection of phenomena [or effects] captured and put to use”, “a programming of phenomena to our purposes”; a “purposed system”.


A theory is the description or external representation of an Explicit Model and its Concepts, in advanced sciences using mathematical equations.