Via negativa

Like nature, which removes mistakes to progress, you can remove things to not only survive but thrive. (This is one of the ways we can apply via negativa, an important mental model.)

~ Shane Parrish from,

It’s a semi-interesting, but short, article. But this bit about via negativa made me down-shift. Because I’d never heard that little latin phrase. I wrote a blog post about how not to mess up endings of conversations… and then went directly to a bookmark on that Parrish article and realized that via negativa was exactly what I had just been writing about.

Via negativa is simply the idea of improving by studying what one should not do. Addition by subtracting one might even say.